Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: PopSEX! Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary* First published in FUSE Magazine

Inspired by Rainer Herrn’s 2008 group exhibition Sex brennt/Sex Burns at The Charité Hospital in Berlin, PopSex! showcases 12 artists from Berlin and Calgary. Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, David Folk, Jean-René Leblanc, Kurtis Lesick, Wednesday Lupypciw, Anthea Black and Mr. and Mrs. Keith Murray, Mireille Perron and Heather Stump, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay and RICHard SMOLinski were brought together by the curators to respond to the remnants of Magnus Hirshfield’s archive from the Institute for Sexual Science.

The exhibition was an extension of a related conference that took place at ACAD, which focused on the role of media and sexuality in early 20th-century Germany, the subject of Hirshfield’s Institute. Founded in Berlin in 1919, Hirshfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science was a place of research, political advocacy, counseling, and public education — decades ahead of what Alfred Kinsey would go on to accomplish in America in the 1940s and 50s. Inspired by the world’s first gay rights organizations, the institute was a close ally for several groups fighting for sexual reform and women’s rights. In 1933, during the infamous Nazi book burnings, the bulk of the Institute’s archives were destroyed. At the same time, Hirschfeld’s scientific research was co-opted and turned around by Nazi Germany to argue for racial and biological purity . . .

Read the review in full in the Spring issue of FUSE Magazine. FUSE 34.2. can also be downloaded, and will be the last free downloadable issue

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