Challenging definitions and categorizations, “GG” is simultaneously an interactive exhibition, a site-specific installation, and a collective happening; but it is foremost Ad Minoliti’s invitation to take shelter in the midst of the Berlin winter and to envision together an alternative universe.
Drawing inspiration from the café-concert and cat cafés meant for adoption, Ad Minoliti converts the gallery into a warm space open to all, and to the queer and trans youth of Berlin in particular. “GG,” which encompasses paintings, sculptures, murals, and carpets, incorporates a coffee corner, a library including Argentinian fanzines and comics, and live events, thus transforming the exhibition space into Minoliti’s own fantasyland where the public is welcome to hang around.
Since 2014, Minoliti has been investigating childhood as a state of subordination and autonomy deprivation benefiting the surveillance and control of bodies and desires. With “GG,” Minoliti takes us a step further as they tackle the issue of adolescence. This transient, hybrid interval between childhood and adulthood is a very stereotyped stage of life in Western culture where teenagers tend to be marginalized and regarded as the “other.” Conceived as a cocoon, that is a place of both protection and growth, “GG,” by its very existence, points to the lack of positive spaces intended for teenagers.
In most cultures and societies, teenage years remain an even more traumatic stage in the lives of queer and trans youth. With “GG,” Minoliti addresses the issue of the representation of these struggles. Refusing to abide by “porno miseria,” or miserabilism, a common expedient for picturing the experience of queer and trans adolescence, Minoliti advocates warmness and care as legitimate rhetorical strategies, and opens up new avenues for political art, beyond the literal depiction of misery and suffering and towards speculative heterotopias. In doing so, they rely on geometric characters with no gender, origin, age or class that populate the walls of the gallery. Here and there, next to painted tea cups and coffee pots, one can see a pair of eyes, legs, the evocation of a mustache; but these fluid figures are mostly made of curved and straight lines, bright colors and repeating patterns. The exhibition space becomes a futuristic and cartoonish queer spacecraft, and Minoliti’s fictional geometry a self-questioning device extended to the viewers.
Multicolor and multivalent, “GG” is a generous and joyful act of resistance against adultism and binary discrimination. True to Minoliti’s practice, this playfulness and ebullience remain politically loaded. The forest green, cobalt blue, pumpkin orange, and candy apple red that adorn the exhibition space come from the color code of Argentinian activist groups, including the pro-abortion movement (green) and the movement for a secular state (orange). Minoliti’s prowess lies in their ability to strategically turn their art into a “serious play.” Rejecting commonplace cynicism, with “GG,” they rehabilitate tenderness and softness and expand a policy of empathy.
In line with Minoliti’s urge to promote feminist and queer artists, the gallery will host a program of performances, including drag kings, poets, and stand-up comedians. By rallying a community of artists, Ad Minoliti, whose practice draws from transfeminist and queer theory, activates Donna Haraway’s concept of sympoiesis, or “making-with.” A harmonious whole made of disparate elements, “GG” is an experiential symphony. Softening the traditional white cube, Minoliti opens the doors to an experimental, inclusive space where hierarchies are abolished, in an attempt to show that utopias and fantasies are not vain dreams but necessary scenarios that stimulate social changes through individual and collective actions.
at Peres Projects, Berlin
until February 10, 2023