Calling something gossip is a convenient way to ignore less dominant voices, trivialize conversations or demands, and maintain the status quo of power relations and norms. But gossip also carries productive potential. The platform GOSSIP GOSSIP GOSSIP engages with gossip as a queer strategy and tool of female knowledge production. For gossip is inherently an ephemeral queer practice: a queer worldmaking and – paraphrasing Hubert Fichte – an inauthentic, indirect language. A language of solidarity (and with it an archive of oral stories) that can only be fully understood and read by those within the sphere – and to some degree by its allies.
GOSSIP GOSSIP GOSSIP is an ongoing platform and series of events and exhibitions in Berlin’s urban space conceived and curated by Anja Lückenkemper and Sandra Teitge.
Project Manager: Miriam Döring
with Alexandre Finkelsztajn
“I’ve been attached to the French expressions, “avoir du bol [to have bowls]” which means “to be lucky,” and “pas de bol [no bowl]”, meaning “to be unlucky.” When my daughter got severely ill, I became superstitious and was afraid “not to have bowls” – which are my musical instruments. For a few years, playing bowls for me was almost an act of plea for protection. One day, I told this story to a philosophy student who came to interview me, Alexandre, and he remembered that his Moroccan Jewish mother had interpreted the expression in the same way and had offered him a bowl to wish him luck.”
GOSSIP Sounds feat. Tomoko Sauvage is supported by the Bureau des arts plastiques of the French Institute Germany and the French Cultural Ministry.
Image: Leo Lopez
¬ Act 7
26. & 27.11.2022
16:00 - 20:30
at Kunstbrücke am Wildenbruch
Kunstbrücke am Wildenbruch
Weigandufer Ecke Wildenbruchbrücke, next to the boat landing
with Victoria Camblin, Jessica Gadani, Leah Katz & Rosalind Masson
Through Silvia Federici's essay "On the Meaning of Gossip,” we now know that the word gossip originally stood for a close friend, not idle talk. Based on Federici's definition Damp Footnotes evolved out of the idea that one can remember, or at least picture, a good friend's toes.
At Kunstbrücke am Wildenbruch, a former public toilet under a bridge, small groups will be led through 22-minute long performances –the length of a Friends episode–, exploring how friends infect, affect, and shape one another through the porous intimacy of friendship. This work is an ode to the way friends can bring us back to earth and ground us in the moment, allowing for at least short episodes of non-quantifiable coexistence and fluid streams of consciousness, free from the incessant ramblings of our "rational" minds.
Damp Footnotes materializes through and with friends; writer Victoria Camblin creates a text for the space, while Jessica Gadani, Leah Katz, and Rosalind Masson embody and create the work through performance.
Damp Footnotes is the last of five parts of the series The Devil's Radio, funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
This event has been additionally supported by Senate Department for Culture and Europe and Fund for Exhibition Fees for Visual Artists.
Photo Documentation: Victoria Tomaschko
¬ Act 6
Stories, Bodies, and Ecstasis
27. & 28.08.2022
at ZK/U Container
ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics
Stories, Bodies, and Ecstasis is the starting point for Zuzanna Czebatul, FRZNTE, Mazlum Nergiz, Cemile Sahin and Leyla Yenirce to create a multi-voiced literary, musical, installative and performative storytelling about kinship, gender-based power structures, solidarity and gossip. Stories, Bodies, and Ecstasis takes up this understanding and considers gossip as a queer and feminist (counter-) strategy to an existing norm that feeds on multivocality and generates solidarity through (temporary) group formation.
Stories, Bodies, and Ecstasis is the fourth of five parts of the series The Devil's Radio, funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
Photo Documentation: Victoria Tomaschko
¬ Act 5
Meditations, Sounds, and Devotions
20. & 21.08.2022
at silent green
silent green Kulturquartier
Meditations, Sounds, and Devotions is a performative weekend that rehearses an altered understanding of gossip – as the empowering experience of a (temporary) group. Silvia Federici once located the origins of the word gossip as meaning "the spiritual association with 'kin'" and describes how close communities of women have traditionally been a source of strength for the individual and the group.
With contributions by Moriah Evans, Agnese Menguzzato, and Zora Mann, Meditations, Sounds, and Devotions invites the public to listen, meditate, and observe together in order to experience gossip as a personal yet collective exercise that produces not only trust but shared knowledges, stories, and history(s).
Meditations, Sounds, and Devotions is the third of five parts of the series The Devil's Radio, funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
Photo Documentation: Victoria Tomaschko
¬ Act 4
Witches, Rituals, and Healing
Silvia Federici locates the origins of the word gossip as meaning "the spiritual association with 'kin'" and describes how close communities of women have traditionally been a source of strength. The pejorative understanding of gossip is a strategy that accompanied and contributed to the deterioration of women's social status: Already in the 16th century, the accusation of being a gossip (read: a witch!) became a reason for the persecution and punishment of women. At that time, gossip went from being a word of friendship and affection to a word of denigration and ridicule. How can we return gossip to its roots today or use it as a strategy to transform exclusion into community, alliance and friendship?
The works of COVEN BERLIN, Zoë Claire Miller, and Lauryn Youden, feed off an understanding of gossip as the solidarity that implies and generates (female) friendship. gossip is here an (ancient) form of female knowledge production. The multi-part performative evening Witches, Rituals, and Healing explores gossip as a shared ritual.
All events are accessible for wheelchair users.
Witches, Rituals, and Healing is the second of five parts of the series The Devil's Radio, funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
Photo documentation: Daniel Seiffert
¬ Act 3
Fakes, Fictions and Forensics
27. – 29.05.2022
Soft Opening: Friday, 4–9pm
Saturday & Sunday, 12–6pm
The term gossip evokes images of glossy magazines, schoolyard dramas, the chitchat of afternoon coffee dates with neighbors or amongst mothers. gossip has a bad reputation; not for nothing did George Harrison refer to gossip as „the devil‘s radio“. But gossip is also activism; it is an ancient tool of female knowledge production. And while therefore often political, gossip can also be fun, ferocious and seductive. Fakes, Fictions, and Forensics questions perceived normality(s) in this context and focuses on female identities – on the fakes and fictions, realities and perceptions that make it up. The works of Anna Ehrenstein, Nora Heinisch, Natalie Paneng, and Franziska Pierwoss develop a new understanding of gossip, to consider it not as “empty talk“ but as emancipatory reappropriation and cultural learning. As a powerful means of communicating information about rules of conduct, female (self-)presentation within the discourse around feminism and societal norms with subversive potential. In this reading, gossip strengthens bonds, shares knowledge and creates a multiplicity of female identities.
Fakes, Fictions, and Forensics is the first of five parts of the series The Devil’s Radio, funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
Photo Documentation: Victoria Tomaschko
¬ Act 2
gossip, fleeting moments, and performances
29.11. – 26.12.2021
(in front of Douglas)
Queerness, writes José Esteban Muñoz in Ephemera as Evidence, is often transmitted in secret: "Instead of being clearly available as visible evidence, queerness has instead existed as innuendo, gossip, fleeting moments, and performances (...)." Appropriating the fleeting and implicating strategies of gossip allows those who are part of this sphere to interact with each other – while it evaporates when in contact with non-queer otherness. gossip, fleeting moments, and performances, act 2 of the research platform GOSSIP GOSSIP GOSSIP, places queer strategies in a series of video works in the public space along the commercialized Ku'damm – during the (shopping mad) pre-Christmas season –, and with them the "sousentendus, alienations, exaggerations, ironies, travesties" (Fichte) that characterize queer language.
The artists Jasmina Al-Qaisi, Samantha Bohatsch, Anna Ehrenstein, Laure Prouvost, and Roseline Rannoch deal with gossip in up to 14 simultaneous vitrines that are otherwise reserved for advertising – expanded by a sonic activation in public space by Banu Çiçek Tülü and an audio tour by Flaneur Magazine. They all use the hidden and subversive strategies of gossip, which can be similar to the strategies of advertising, thus providing ephemeral evidence of affect, sexuality, and gender and interrupting the otherwise conventional and normative flow of advertising presented in the vitrines along Ku'damm.
gossip, fleeting moments, and performances was part of the initiative DRAUSSENSTADT, funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Foundation for Cultural Education and Cultural Consulting. With the kind support of the Bureau des arts plastiques of the French Institute Germany and the French Culture Minister.
Photo documentation: Victoria Tomaschko
¬ Act 1
Gossip, Scandal and Good Manners
10. – 20.09.2021
For Gossip, Scandal and Good Manners, artists Samantha Bohatsch, Pêdra Costa and Özlem Özgül Dündar explore gossip as a queer strategy and tool of female knowledge production on three billboards and through three performative activations. Calling something gossip is a convenient way of ignoring less dominant voices, trivialising conversations or demands and maintaining the status quo of power relations and norms. But gossip also carries productive potentials and is an effective means of conveying information and (temporarily) grouping peers to reflect on themselves and produce knowledge about their own history(s).
By using artistic and subversive modi operandi of gossip – 3 posters and 3 performative activations – the project Gossip, Scandal and Good Manners aims to show a joint counter-strategy characterised by diversity, fluidity and intersectionality.
Gossip, Scandal and Good Manners was made possible by funding from Projektförderung Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain.
His story is history – my story is mystery – our story is company
— Readings on Feminism, Solidarity, and Gossip
February - August 2021
Exact dates (and zoom links) will be announced upon registration and may be subject to change.
The preliminary authors' list includes, among others, texts and excerpts by Anne Boyer, Pieke Biermann, Fatima Daas, Lydia Davis, Annie Ernaux, Silvia Federici, Heike Geissler, Carmen Maria Machado, Maggie Nelson, Katharina Volckmer et al.
His story is history – my story is mystery – our story is company is an online reading club series that aims at connecting with people through collective reading. The title, based on a quote and the general ethos of the Berlin-based artist group Honey-Suckle company, understands the sharing of female stories as an act of solidarity. In a time of physical distancing, we feel the need to accompany one another through this forced isolation by textual proximity. Together, we will read passages and embark on a journey of joint listening, thinking, and exchanging along the lines of thought presented by the works of a selection of feminist authors.
Please note: Participation is open for anyone but requires prior registration. House rules apply to ensure a productive and safe space for exchange. All texts will be in English unless announced otherwise. All text excerpts will be supplied beforehand and are meant for use within the reading group only, please respect the copyrights of the authors.