My Body is a Queer History Museum


> Paris 2022
Concept, choreography & direction :  River Lin
Curation: Madeleine Planeix-Crocker
Production: camin aktion
Music: Alexandre Bouvie
With Sherwood Chen, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Calixto Neto, Shihya Peng, Kai Simon Stoeger

21-22 May, 2022.
Lafayette Anticipations, Paris. In the context of Seen Through Others, solo exhibition by Xinyi Cheng.

> Taipei 2019
Concept, choreography & direction :  River Lin
performance: Tseng Chih-Wei, Chang Ko-Yang, Hsu Sheng-Han , Chien Shih-Han, Huang Gia-Yeh, Sherwin Chimera, Lee Song-En.

7-8 December, 2019.
Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, as part of project Liqueered curated by Yu Cheng-Ta.

︎ Video doc (Taipei)

Speculating what a queer museum would look like and feel like and considering the body of a museum is where historical embodiments and social progress have been collected and performed, My Body is a Queer History Museum is a performance project taking over a museum or exhibition spaces through choreographed happenings, community engagement and participation. 

In the Paris re-staged edition for the Lafayette Anticipations, My Body is a Queer History Museum arises from the following question: How to imagine a queer intervention within the context of an existing structure and exhibit?

This idea is channeled through physical embodiment, as it is part of a performative heritage that seeks to disrupt the modalities and spaces of representation, questioning their various forms of hospitality.

As such, My Body is a Queer History Museum proposes the creation of a temporary museum within an existing exhibit space, using the personal stories and gender politics of a dedicated group of performers. These non-binary life materials relate queer journeys and experiences, reflecting a multiplicity of oblique, deviant identities and ways of seeing the world.

The stories become the live material for happenings that will be presented over two days (durational performances of 4 hours). Choreographed phrases, readings of poetic texts and social manifestos, participatory activities: each initiative is an opportunity for the public to connect with the stories and the context within which they are shared.

If River Lin’s work seems to find its place within artist Xinyi Cheng’s solo exhibit, it is because it resonates with the intimate moments – fleeting and fervent – that the visual artist has captured on canvas. River’s performative gesture is an amplification of Cheng’s sensorial encounters (on fire, in the cold, in water) through the manifestation of their effects on the bodies that traverse and live them.

Thus, the performance of a museum within an exhibit becomes a surprising and inviting opportunity to consider relational narratives (about bodies, affects, wants, and desires). The stories set in motion are glimmers that suddenly appear - like a match lit at night, a spark in the dark.

Photo by Chloé Magdelaine - Lafayette Anticipations (Paris, 2022). By You-wei Chen, Wei Chang, and Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (Taipei, 2019)