to dyke_trans: exhibition

the exhibition was part of a larger project – a lab with the title: politicizing trans / trans_forming politics (please find the events blog and documentation with videos and podcasts here).

the lab was taking place in may 2012 in berlin at different locations. the exhibition has been conceptualized and organized by ja’n and lann, with support from the lab-team as well as other dyke_transed people. the lab team consisted of julz, rüzgår, steffi, ja’n and lann. it was financed by intergender, an international gender studies graduate school, situated in linköping, sweden. the exhibition was in addition to that financed by ‘private’ money as well.

the idea for the lab’s topic has been initiated on an intergender board meeting and is a mutual preliminary idea by wibke and lann. the concrete realisation of the whole lab with different formats has been discussed in the aforementioned preparation team. applying different forms of knowledge production with different perspectives has been one important part of the lab. the exhibition’s concept has been elaborated in this context. the anti-genderist focus by and through the concept to dyke_trans has been strongly influenced by the conceptualization of the political positioning dyke_trans, as it has been formulated by the group ‘ag einleitung’ in the book ‘feminismus schreiben lernen’ from 2011 (ak feministische sprachkritik). in this context, dyke_trans has been a newly established term to find an empowering self-appellation for persons discriminated by multiple forms of sexism/genderism. by way of this form, an earlier unnameable positioning has been made explicit as an empowering form of political intervention into genderism. the exhibition to dyke_trans has further elaborated on this concept by changing it from a noun form, implying some kind of essentialized identity, to a verb form. the verb form implies a concept of political positioning which is strongly based on situational and context-sensitive ideas of actions: political positionings are thus understood as forms of action which are not legible over time and space but have to be decided upon again and again for every single moment. this idea has even been processed further in the concept trans_x_ing by xart splitta, making an activist criticism on binary genderings even more central. the exhibition has tried to transform this complex conceptualization of dyke_transing into various forms of visual and performative actions and gazing as a powerful form to re_shape visualizations within this context. the ideas to focus on artistic_political forms of dyke_transing and to focus on visual politics and gazing forms of activities has been strongly influenced by ideas and concepts of tina m. campt’s book image matter. archive, photography, and the african diaspora in europe 2012 as well as nicole r. fleetwood’s book troubling vision. performance, visuality, and blackness 2011. ella shohats edited book talking visions. multicultural feminism in a transnational age 1998 is a very inspiring source for the combination of different forms of knowledge production – artistic, political and academic in an exhibition and publication on anti-racist feminism.

the exhibition’s framing in this text here, takes these different ideas into some sort of momentary historicizing narration. there are much more framings we could make, like exhibitions we have visited or pictures that inspired us. whatever framing we are making, it is formulated from an anti-genderist white ableist staticised perspective.

‘to dyke_trans’, as we have formulated it for and with and in the exhibition, is only one possible form of realisation which is also dependent on the interdependent localization it is formulated from. it is strongly obliged to a critical activist reflection of genderism which is thereby also critically reflecting and acting against racism_ableism_classism_migratism from our positioning which are privileged with regard to racism_ableism_classism_migratism.

the exhibition was only a starting point for asking ourselves many new questions, for reflecting our perceptions and aesthetic norms, and we am happy to proceed in many different ways by and with projects in xart splitta to continue on this way. already during the process of making this exhibition, we tried to find more pictures/images which not only depict single persons or pair constellations but dyke_transing groups and actions like interventions, taking public space. with our recent concept of trans_x_ing spaces_perspectives_perceptions, we are still very much engaged into these questions. 

from the booklet: