Cruising is the quest for sex by homosexual men in public spaces. It takes place in parks, public toilets, and car parks, as well as in dedicated establishments such as sex clubs and bath houses. But cruising cannot be limited to any one location, nor can it be reduced to neither men nor gays.
The exhibition, the result of two years of research by the curatorial collective Cruising Pavilion, proposes that public sex remains a laboratory for political futures and spaces, and that it is central to understanding new ways of thinking, living, loving, meeting, and belonging.
Through the lens of architecture and the city, this exhibition explores some of the ways in which the traditional model of cruising is evolving. The exhibition explores how the combination of digital hook up apps, urban development, and the commodification of LGBTQ+ cultures means that traditional cruising grounds are continually adapting. Today, technologies have generated a psychosexual geography that spreads across homes and profiles.
'Reproduction of Flagrant Délit' (1975) / Madelon Vriesendorp. Courtesy of the artist. Exhibited in 'Cruising Pavilion: Architecture, Gay Sex and Cruising Culture' in Boxen at ArkDes.
From 'Lesbian Xanadu (Updated Version)' series (2019) / Ann Krsul + Alexis Roworth. Courtesy of the artists. Exhibited in 'Cruising Pavilion: Architecture, Gay Sex and Cruising Culture' in Boxen at ArkDes.
Cruising Pavilion: Architecture, Gay Sex and Cruising Culture invites you into a sequence of environments: the Bar, the Darkroom, and the Bedroom. These rooms make space for the work of international artists, architects and designers whose works build a collection of interpretative stances and sideways glances. Together, they map cruising cultures and explore the sensual production of space. From videogames and drawings to films and furniture, cruising is revealed as a form of resistance, an avant-garde, and a vernacular – with an active relevance in and beyond LGBTQ+ circles.
We are very excited to conclude this project on gay sex and architecture with an exhibition at ArkDes. Gay sex is essentially absent from the architectural discourse. We hope that cruising will be appreciated in all its complexity and that designers will eventually do much more for sexuality.
– Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou, artist Rasmus Myrup, and architect Octave Perrault (curatorial collective Cruising Pavilion)
'Blueprints of The Saint (invitation to the first event)' (1980) / Charles Terrell + Bruce Mailman. Courtesy of The Saint Foundation Archives. Exhibited in 'Cruising Pavilion: Architecture, Gay Sex and Cruising Culture' in Boxen at ArkDes.
Andreas Angelidakis, Monica Bonvicini, Tom Burr, Shu Lea Cheang, Victoria Colmegna, Earl Combs + Steve Ostrow, Etienne Descloux, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, DYKE_ON, Pol Esteve + Marc Navarro, General Idea, Robert Getso, Horace Gifford, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Nguyen Tan Hoang, Andrés Jaque (Office for Political Innovation), Studio Karhard, Ann Krsul + Amy Cappellazzo + Alexis Roworth + Sarah Drake, John Lindell, Henrik Olesen, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), Hannah Quinlan + Rosie Hastings, Carlos Reyes, Prem Sahib, Jaanus Samma, S H U I (Jon Wang + Sean Roland), Max Sohl + Paul Morris, Charles Terrell + Bruce Mailman, Tommy Ting, Madelon Vriesendorp, Steven Warwick, Robert Yang, Trevor Yeung
Cruising Pavilion: Architecture, Gay Sex and Cruising Culture is an exhibition that celebrates and evokes the imaginations of those who have a different way of reading the public realm, and whose encounters have very different outcomes to the ones that those outside the culture experience.
A public toilet, a bar, a street, and a park will all look different to you after you have experienced the works in this exhibition. Cruising Pavilion demands that we look carefully at the spatial inventions that encourage sexual pleasure and allow for different sexualities.
– Kieran Long, Director at ArkDes
Cruising Pavilion at ArkDes is the culmination of two years of research by the curatorial collective Cruising Pavilion. Previous exhibitions of the project in Venice, Italy (Spazio Punch), and New York City, USA (Ludlow38), have explored the different directions by which cruising practices have evolved. In this third and final exhibition, the project focuses on the intersection of sexuality and the architecture of the city.
The exhibition is open in Boxen at ArkDes until November 10th, 2019, with free entry. Please note that the exhibition contains explicit works depicting sex and is not recommended for people under the age of 15.
Cruising Pavilion is a curatorial project by Pierre-Alexandre Mateos, Rasmus Myrup, Octave Perrault, and Charles Teyssou. Curator at ArkDes: James Taylor-Foster (Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Design).
Curators Pierre-Alexandre Mateos, Charles Teyssou, Rasmus Myrup, and Octave Perrault (Cruising Pavilion) with James Taylor-Foster (Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Design, ArkDes). Photo: Frida Vega Salomonsson (2019)
ArkDes is Sweden’s National Centre for Architecture and Design. It is a museum, a study centre and an arena for debate and discussion about the future of architecture, design and citizenship.