Performance / In English: We Feel a Desire for Caresses by Men (The Gothenburg Affair)

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We Feel a Desire for Caresses by Men (The Gothenburg Affair) is based on archival documents from a trial in…
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Bonniers Konsthall

Stockholm

Bonniers Konsthall
Torsgatan 19
11321 Stockholm

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We Feel a Desire for Caresses by Men (The Gothenburg Affair) is based on archival documents from a trial in the late 1930s against a circle of homosexual men in Gothenburg. During this period, homosexual erotic encounters were often initiated in the city’s parks and secret passages but this circle of friends created a community around meetings in each other’s homes. The court documents are influenced by the criminological and forensic psychiatric language of the time but give, simultaneously, insights to the circle’s gatherings. Stories, desires and experiences were shared, they recited song lyrics, listened to music and danced together. They referred to each other by female names and described their relationships as a “spiritual kinship”. Conny Karlsson Lundgren’s performance includes excerpts from the interrogations, delivered by a performer in a choreographed dialogue with a collection of erotic photographs found in the home of one of the men. The scenography of the work is made up of wooden structures displaying the evidence used in the trial, a forensic chair with a measuring device and a speaker podium along with a blinking, red light bulb – which also appears in Prologue, the first part of The Gothenburg Affair. A multitude of perspectives are embodied as the text alternates between the accused and the prosecutor. The performance is concluded with the song ‘Jazzgossen’ (The Jazz Boy) by Karl Gerhard from 1922, here sampled and edited by the music duo [inaudible]. The lyrics describe an early subculture of men using feminine-coded expressions, and the song may have been played at the circle’s many dance parties. Free admission, limited number of participants. In English. Image: We Feel a Desire for Caresses by Men (The Gothenburg Affair) 2021–2022. Performance. Still: Camilla Topuntoli