Presence of Communities
29. 3. 2024 - 25. 4. 2024
current


Curators: Tia Čiček, Jernej Škof
Spatial design: Jan Brovč, Kovrđava
Young researchers: Nuka Horvat, Tamara Mihalič, Danko Ostojić, Monika Zupin

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Exhibitions events

29. 3. at 7 pm: exhibition opening featuring Crystal Queer Choir and Babsi Adler, with musical background by Anemagenta
5. 4. at 9 pm: Cabaret Tiffany
10. 4. at 6 pm: Discussion on LGBTQIA+ community media in Slovenia (DIH Association)
13. 4. at 7 pm: Night with the LGBT+ Film Festival
16. 4. at 6 pm: Visibility and treatment of transgender issues in Slovenian culture and art, lecture (Transakcija Institute)
17. 4. at 7 pm: Kviropisje, evening of queer literature
18. 4. at 8 pm: Croon, concert
20. 4. at 8 pm: 10th Golden Tiffany Award Ceremony
24. 4. at 6 pm: Gyula Muskovics: Fashion as world-building in the years of post-communist transition

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In 2024, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the LGBTQIA+ movement in Slovenia. Part of the year-round events, which include exhibitions at the National Museum of Contemporary History, City Museum of Ljubljana, Kresija Gallery, Alkatraz Gallery, the platform at Figovec and many more, is also the community space, which will be activated at Škuc Gallery between 29 March and 25 April. We are activating the exhibition spaces with the building blocks of the local LGBTQIA+ communities, creating a temporary community cultural space. We are bringing together in one location public spaces such as pubs, libraries, clubs, festivals and last but not least the “stage/backstage”, without which communities would remain hidden from the public and the hard-to-access safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ people would be even less accessible than they already seem. Whilst we have achieved important milestones on the road to equality, acceptance and diversity over the last four decades, we know that there is still much work to be done.

We are aware of the importance of queer that persistently strives towards the queer horizon, as defined by Muñoz.[1]  Here we recognise the potential for the further development and growth of our community. The queer horizon marks the yet unattained, it emphasises the understanding of queerness as something intended for the future and hope, always on the horizon and not fully present in the present moment. It suggests that queerness is a way of being in a displaced time in which the grip of heterosexual time is broken or abandoned.

We activate the community space because for many people around the world, the spaces of love, coexistence and self-expression are shrinking. We activate it in the awareness of past struggles and the history of many erasures of the lives of non-heteronormative people locally. Most importantly, we celebrate local cultural, community and activist practices that have successfully created the kind of cultural (infra)structures that continue to fuel the creativity and solidarity in local LGBTQIA+ communities today.

COMMUNITY AND CULTURAL SPACES
In order to emphasise empowerment and self-organising practices in LGBTQIA+ communities and support those who co-create the communities in representing their own interests, we have divided the community space into building blocks: STAGE/BACKSTAGE, BAR, READING ROOM and QUEER LAB. These can be used by many organisations and communities whose wish it is to welcome anyone who wants to enter the safe space, relax, have fun, read and/or connect with like-minded people.

STAGE/BACKSTAGE
The stage is the heart of the diverse and vibrant LGBTQIA+ scene. Despite the existing inequalities between heteronormative and queer life, LGBTQIA+ entertainment and cultural programmes are a space of liberation where our community can express itself and connect without the shackles of everyday life. The stage is enlivened by the Tiffany Cabaret, among others, which has been an important cultural pillar of the LGBTQA+ community for many years, contributing to diversity and acceptance with its performances and shows, and creating a space for expression and entertainment without prejudice. We stage a series of events that not only put visitors in a good mood but also highlight the important role that entertainment and culture play in building the community.

BAR
The bar is a key space for discourse, which for many also means access to the community and connecting with others. Here you can relax and socialise with friends and acquaintances. In the evenings, you can (actively) take part in discussions about important issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community – both about its past and its future. The bar offers a programme of events and activities that encourage dialogue between visitors, giving them the opportunity to share views and experiences, and to talk to guests from the LGBTQIA+ community. Through a variety of events, we aim to build stronger community ties and strengthen the sense of belonging and unity.

QUEER LAB
Queer Lab offers young people the opportunity to learn about the rich history and theory of queerness and to think about the future of our community. The group is formed through an open call and receives professional support for their projects, which are developing as part of the Presence of Communities exhibition. Queer Lab offers four young people the opportunity to create a working space where they can explore the diverse cultural tissue of the LGBTQIA+ community in the region with the help of the exhibition curators and participating organisations. Each participant works with the curators to determine the subject of their research and a plan for implementation and presentation.

READING ROOM
The reading room is a place to rest and reflect on literature that highlights different aspects of the LGBTQIA+ community. The reading room also welcomes texts that you would like to share with other members of the community, as its main purpose is to promote the exchange of ideas, deepen understanding of diversity and contribute to the development of critical thinking in our community. We welcome anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge and understanding of the LGBTQIA+ community and contribute to its development and progress.

The community spaces offered by the Presence of Communities exhibition are intended for both LGBTQIA+ communities and any visitors to the exhibition who wish to enrich them. We believe in the importance of open dialogue, mutual respect and embracing diversity as core values of our communities. We therefore invite you to participate in our activities, engage in discussions, share your experiences and knowledge, and collaborate with us to build a more inclusive and tolerant community. Your presence and engagement are key to creating spaces that enable growth, inclusion and empowerment of all members.

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[1] Muñoz, José Esteban. 2019. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York: New York University Press.

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Slovenian proofreading: Inge Pangos
English translation: Arven Šakti Kralj
Printed and visual design: Lea Jelenko

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Photos from the exhibition opening: Sara Rman
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Queer Lab is part of the Youth and the Future of the LGBTQIA+ Community project, which is part of the Erasmus+ programme, co-funded by the European Union.

Project sponsor: Radenska Adriatic

The Škuc Gallery programme is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Ljubljana.