Editorial,orsomething like that|
|Delft, winter december 2nd '09|
Had a talk with the new managing director of IHLIA on november 26th, our international gay archive, based in the gorgeous new building of the City Library of Amsterdam. We agreed to get back together in the new year to have a close look at how they handle visual art currently and where we can strenthen each other and delivere feedback and support.
One of the suggestions Lonneke gave me was for the db/queerart foundation to write a kind of long term strategic plan to see how in some years we can all join forces to get the Dutch gay museum off the ground. So, as a start, I here try to sketch out what I think is the essence of what needs to be done. As the purpose is a national plan I first try to word it in Dutch, but as db/Queerart is an internet product, wich attempts to strengthen international bonding of our art community, and the museum plan being directed at enforcing the attractiveness and re - finding our countries pioneering role as gay tourist attraction I will try to convert it into English a.s.a.p.
Within homo culture we've always seen waves of tolerance and restriction coming and going. This has been evident, ever since the first records of tendencies in our social, cultural and religious climate.
db/Queerart with its fast open dynamic internet approach has from the start been able to find guidelines and give incentives for gathering visual art content. Or: we are already a full decade into the battle with the intention to end up with a framework collection for our future museum.
continuing . . .
We ourselves are increasingly guilty of devaluating our identity in this field. We fear to be seen a minority with a different approach to sexuality, and our anxiety to be considered normal and be accepted only excels in hiding and eventually losing an identity and culture which does have its roots in our sexuality. Amsterdam as homo tourist attraction had its reputation mostly with an open, tolerant and efficient climate. Thanks to recent 'cleaning up operations', this reputation is dwindling fast and under threat of reaching a point where in cannot be reversed.
As a child of the 'rooie flikkers' (Dutch gay political pressure group of the seventies) generation , brainwashed by long gone and (almost forgotten opinion leaders like philosopher Michel Foucault and Guy Hocqenhem or 'an american in Paris' like painter Bastille, who showed us that by night, hidden in the dark, we were truly ourselves. The seduction of uncertainty, the eternal search for the new, the thrill, the danger, those are core aspects of our identity, which should/could be a main part of the architectural, and interior-design outline-of-requirements for a homomuseum. Only then it may become a space that does not paint a calibrated, dry, clinical, virtuous, historic picture (as feared by many of the now sexually active (who only seem to have a voice left in bars, web-fora and dating sites) to the museum of our heritage and also a live temple of the continuing development of our undeniably controversial sexuality. Both for curious outsiders (educators, politicians, parents of gay youth) as within our own frameworks.
It's of utmost importance that we do not build ourselves the umpteenth museum that leads to megalomania and standardisation insanity: Many of the sub-niches in which we have divided our minority will resent the picture we paint of ourselves in one way or another, but that may not be an excuse to mellow it down, bypass things, or paint 'm over with the usual pink latex, half-measures one after the other have time and again given some parts of our community the feeling it does not represent them. Somehow our museum should turn that ship, give each and every sub minority the feeling of belonging and being as valid as any other, recognise their personal roots and preferences, turn around our self moralising. Instead we could show a mirror, highlighting the humor of our eternal ridiculing our own creativity: all those homosexual niches, from the monogamous married dyke and their routes to fulfill motherhood urges to the most perverted barebacking hedonist, they are all supposed to be at home there, to belong, recognise their part in our life's melting pot, without the experience of a new low of moralism, not even the Dutch poldermodel "everything must be acceptable" moralism!
"That's me !!" screams main character Arthur(Christian Bale) to his parents in the movie 'Velvet Goldmine', without realising he just did the entire 'coming-out-conversation' in those three words, whe he sees the seventies glitter-pop artists Kurt Wilde (Ewan McGregor) and Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) on tv provocatively ridiculing British media in a tv interview.
Us hoomoos: more pious than the Pope ?
we are sooo frightened, as small vulnerable minority, to admit that we're not different than whoever in our immature secularised little country. We in fact are just as full of religious heritage, as our brethren in Staphorst (Dutch version of the Amish) and laden with our own version of that most deplorable 'original sin' ; hedonism, renouncing traditional values, glorifying sexual diversity and anarchy. As right-minded Dutch sectarists we, ultimate "Perfidious Fairies" (Valsche Nichten), pre-eminent Queerulants (fight seeking bastards), but, to our shame, in contrast to pioneers as Oscar Wilde or Gerrit Komrij, not proud and unashamed, but frightened bigots, who think that it is not in our interest to show our uncertainties and doubts, within or outside our community. Waarom kunnen we niet lachten om onze welsprekendheid als we als niche van een niche van een niche ons niet eens afzetten tegen een tegenovergestelde niche, maar even fel tegen een verwante buur-niche? Why cant the laugh about the eloquence we waste when we not only fight opposed niches of niches of niches, but just as fervorous combat related neighour-niches? Your niche is a more valid niche than mine; or:
Ik wil de grootse zijn,
Ik wil de grootste zijn,
Ik wil altijd de grootse hebben!
which in short translates best as "Mine is bigger than yours"
It's exactly this self suppression, we all got contaminated with through a hererosexual upbringing, and from which many of us, even after a whole consecutive series of coming-out's and self-help-groups, cannot distance themselves, that determines us and gives us our colour:
Where would we be without the train,
Or, where would we be if we had nothing to schold about. We cannot live without a target for our agitation: our repressors, our educators, led by the purveyors of rules and norms: justice and religion, where the last even attempted to convince us it was all our own fault, that the generation of fanatic hedonist sexaddicts had no-one but themselves to blame for their decimated presence and voice in society, that HIV/AIDS was the ultimate proof of the irrevocable wrath of the supreme being in the skies. We should laugh and congratulate them with such verbal creativity; even the most 'perfidious fairie' will have a hard time to rival that. And you know what? Many even believed it: the National HIV society and Shorer Foundation preached repentance: cut off our cocks, or at least seal them in latex; denounce our sexuality, instead of using our ingenuity to look for more feasable, user friendly and effective ways to reduce the risk of transmitting STD's. Even a group like Poz and Proud is so frightened by the wrath of god, or "das gesundes Volksempfinden", that they run a mile when some of them dare to utter the word promiscuity or suggests encouraging interaction or facilitating intimacy amongst seropositives. They rather leave it to much more out-of-control, but increasingly popular bareback promoting internet groups, sprouting left, right and center.
That is why, to limit the damaging effects of our internal bickering, our museum should try to focus our community on combatting our true enemy.
That is why, in order for our museum to become a truly recognised home we need to start now to search out both our back-benchers as our adherents and make them recognise and appreciate the immense value of our private temples: the pedestal cupboard. Or in case of the "well to do" their boudoir-art. Their wank material is our threasure chest!
When death approaches unmarried homos, mostly without a will or valid arrangement of last wishes, nor self-appointed executioner, too often attempt to reconcile themselves with their family and their religion. Their porno-collection gets burned or ends up in the waste container. Thus their Mapplethorpe's or Willem Kok's frequently, just in time for their 'last judgement', are disposed of. As testified by gay medical staff, who often are the last to see the evidence of the sins of their patients. Many a tolerant GP, who has seen everything already once or twice, will confirm this, as will, more terrible, young, possibly foreign, not so tolerant nurses, who encourage their patients to have the sexually charged images on the wall replaced by a milkmaid of Vermeer poster. And if rapidly oncoming dementia left them unable to act themselves, then after their departure red-faced family members would soon eradicate all evidence of cheeky uncle Erny's passtimes from the wall or the drawers. Even the schredder coloured red by such variety of eroticism, of which they had no clue and no insipid notion of the virtuosity of this work nor its art-historical value.
Self suppression and renouncing also plays a not encouraging role in the rare cases that next of kin do try to seek expert advice to find out if a buck can be made out of uncle's estate. The well known sectarism within our community, will most likely result in blatant undervalueing of the work at hand. In writing damage is often limited, because most book antiquarians will appreciate a first, hand-signed edition of Reve, even if it's not 'their cup of tea', and freedom of speech is deeply rooted in our society. The most enlightened advisors may even point the way to our national gay archives (IHLIA homodok), but in visual art, where we manage to keep on falling into the trap of shame, the effects are devastating:
Art commericialisation of the previous century brought us of the appreciation system of the " market" , not the market of the ordinary consumer, but that of art buying elite; dressed in 'nothing but the best' for good reason: proof of their ability to hide behind an impressive and impenetrable façade. Also not the most critical or revolutionary part of our population. Illustrated for example in the BBC documentary " why beauty matters" , of Roger Scruton:
Art, from Duchamp' s Urinal onwards, no longer needed to be beautiful, it just had to be unique, inventive, disorganising, embarrassing, aleniating, repulsive, shocking, mocking. Preferably accusing and degrading towards the consuming masses and the industry feeding their contemptable desires, taste makers or opinion Leaders; hardly breaking moral or social taboos or deminishing the gap between the haves and have-nots. Au contraire!
All this resulted in your average museum or gallery visitor nowadays is walking around with lead in their shoes and a maar, wat is het? (but what is it?) or "the emperor has no clothes", unspoken thoughts. If Damien Hist states "everybody can be a Rembrandt" he tries to rival Andy Warhol's "everybody is entitled to his 15 minits of fame", but fails to convince anybody but his own 'elite' resulting in a 'can of shit' making millions at Sotheby's. Yet with the bank crisis even that edifice which was raised by the likes of Saatchie in the nineties now comes crashing down even faster then the dollar or pound devaluated. A re-apraisal of craft and training, historic study and depth is well underway. The old modern art world is holding its breath, but remaining written media have turned their back on much of the values of all that was 'holy' in the 20th century. Look at what we have left on Dutch tv, where art is concerned: even VPRO and NOS are following the path of the 'kijkcijferkanonnen' ( prime time mass pullers ) of AVRO tv and History Channel. The BBC has already turned the ship and instead of Gilbert and George or Damien Hirst now aknowledhes the commercially profetic sight of heretic, painter, writer Kit Williams. Our own community always is able to go one better: Player draws on the same crafts and poetic, fairytale imagery, but placed in a homo erotic context.
Our own community always is able to go one better:
Player draws on the same crafts and poetic, fairytale imagery, but placed in a homo erotic context.
Most of the homosexual art consuming elite follows the directives of the academics, the establishment and the money; rarely that of the heart or the abdomen. However, the homos hitch a ride in the disorganising and sexually liberating waves of the student revolts and in our country late sixties and the following provo movement. This way we were part of the revolution which was also carved out for us by the NVSH in sextant and anarchists, left radicals and provo' s with magazines and papers such as Hitweek/Aloha and Vrij Netherland (first homosexual personal ads).
Sadly our art elite ignored the sexual liberation movement and continued to spoon (dovetail) the above defined 'norms and values' of the art establishment and sees nothing in newly developing homosexual art-of-the people, which finds the masses by means of cheaply pressed small black and white A5 mags like Binky, and Ami, available for a few guilders at alternative bookshops. Also the COC, that feels cunconfortable with bad design and competition of their periodicals that focusses on sexuality. If the COC uses imagery in print it bypasses erotic desire and chooses esoteric a-sexual imagery of abstract liberation and ancient Germanic ' a healthy spirit in a healthy body' culture. Willem Kok, and Martin of Holland form the Dutch equivalent of characters in our sheets such as Tom of Finland, Rex and Etienne, Jean Cocteau and homosexual sex photography which by means of import from Scandinavia and the USA start to reach us. End of the seventies a gay wave initiated by the student revolts and culture philosophers such as Michel Foucault and Guy Hocquenghem, the `homofilosopher' of the French post-structuralists, initated a French reveil, via mags as Gay Pied. Their equivalent in Nijmegen and Amsterdam starts a revolutionairy homomovement, which rapidly clashes violently with the established homosexual order of COC, which rapidly declared that "the confrontational approach and the fat cocks were counter-productive" That in fact they were a true ventilation of centuries of church and authorities' suppression of most valid desires was not recognised.
quote Stefan Sanders, Rooie-Flikker music-theatre buddy of mine in the old days:
"These underground roots, with infinite possibilities of social, amicable and sexual knots and connections - that was our escape of family pressure. Oedipus had to be dethroned. The myth of the genital sexuality, as sublime end phase of an exemplary development, had be disproved. And especially the anal, bestial, fetisjistic, in short: the complete `perversion package' were to be reappraised, because there the strength of the `counter-movement' was hidden, its true revolutionary potential. Freud and Lacan still spoke of desire, which was a dangerous term, alerting doctors and psychiatrists to hospitalise, medicalise it. But Deleuze, Guattari and Foucault suggested to embrace the plaisure instead of combatting it; just appreciate that intangible joy, which should not be analysed, let alone disciplined.
Wauw. As I write it down, I am still a touch impresses. Not too much, because meanwhile I have fundamental objections to this `alternative-thought'. To put it bluntly: Yes, the 21ste century was under threat to become Deleuzian, as Foucault predicted, but we should not have shouted with joy that fast. It is rather a political death sentence. Against the terrorist Islam Deleuze had no defence. I bet, had he still lived, he would have judged 9/11 a complete surprising interesting, `pivotal' project. The `Taliban' - he would have enjoyed them as an exotic pleasure. Everything that went against moulded, French democracy and its state terror had its sympathy. That there were far worse forms of terror, like in Iran, leaving no room for enlightenment what-so-ever, he could not have conceived.
end of quote.
I also feel that we'll have a hard time to paint a picture of our development since WOII in a respectful and significant manner to the culture historians, our own supporters and/or your average homosexual tourist in Amsterdam. Can we in this day and age produce sufficient relativity and distance to bring such an awkward job to a useful end? I'm not sure, but do hope that we reach that something, as long as it is not as rock-solid as christianity or marxism, that it will not eliminate insecurity, adventure, risk, at any time running the risk of tumbling down like the WTC. We shouls always remain orgasmic, yell, (s)cream and splatter!
Another quote; of socially cultural homosexual scientist Mattias Duyves (pag. 154 Ton of Holland, contemporary embroidery 2009):
For a long time 'gay art' was regarded as a provocation of good taste, an assault of the status quo in society and the world of visual art. Until far into the twentiest century naïve questions as to whether gay art existsed or whether gay porn could really be art (questions which were for a long time unthinkable), usually automatically met with a disapproving 'no', in the first instance from art lovers, but likewise from homofobe artists. Artists such as Jean Cocteau, Tom of Finland, Etienne, Robert Mapplethorpe and countless others changed the situation through their work on the male figure. The best answer to the question whether gay art exists is: 'Yes, you twit'
, there is a great deal of gay art, but not allart is the same; there's good and bad art. Subversive or provocative or conventional, without an iota of innovation. Art not worthy of the name. Covert or open art, high and low art, accepted or rejected, etotic and non erotic. It does not matter . . .
end of quote.
I'm not a scientist and consider myself more of an eternal street fighter, so his words tempt me to pose my harsher statement: homosexual art ceases to be just that, as soon as it is embraced and recognised by the heterosexual world and/or the market. Yes, you could say that Tom of Finland and Robert Mapplethorpe were homo art for starters, but now, as happens to so many after they died, they were embraced by the masses, and their fat cocks, s&m scenes and hedonistic observations are under threat to become a caricature instead of a celebration of our true rebellion and perversion. Our white collar representatives nowadays will say: 'that does not represent us'. To which I would add 'sadly' or counter: 'it may not be all of us, but it is an important aspect that distinguishes us'
Since the fifties, we came full circle and now are just as then, caught in the dictatorship of a generation, then it was our parents and the authorities, but now it's infiltrated to the roots and is spread by the suits and ties who came to control our community and attempt to sell our 'product' to the masses by prudish-treachery and self-denying. Those who try to apease bourgeoisy and normality may make themselves popular with the other 95%, but also stand in the way of natural progress from within our community.
If you crawl in back in the mother lap of normality, you are once again the sweet child that was so innocent and easy to control. Even the once progressive social democrats, realising that just like the their former christian political opponents can lure the new foreign religious minority into their camp. We've seen it this month in the primary elections at Amsterdam Nieuw-West the candidaty who whole hartedly embraced our battle and combatted intolerance towards homos within the young muslim community was sacrificed.
According to many we are selling our souls.
As a result, I predict, in line with the infinite cyle of the tides of culture, a next generation that will accuse us of dehumanisation ours basic desires, of forcing us into prudery-driven, totalitarian oppression, which we escaped just 30 years ago. Losing us the newly aquired freedom and leaving us to fall victim of another religious iconoclasm. This time we could call it the self imposed one of the early 21st century. Another youth led rage, reminiscent of the student revolt and provo era may resurface. A tsunami taking us by surprise we can already see building, retreating before the main surge, from within the radical computer generation now hiding behind sites like gayromeo, milkboys or BBRT, young-homo, gothic youth and bareback-sex movements.
Or am I too optimistic? do I draw my conclusions too easily, run too fast into the swell? Too many hipies also quickly became conservative once they became employees. Only our lot does not HAVE TO get married. Nothing forces us, but the pseudo romantic dream of following the example of our hetero parents.
I do not want to fall into the trap of all my preceeding scientists, marxists, art- and culture popes by exhausting myself with weighty and unreadible theorising. A homosexual museum will only really find some appreciation in future generations of Amsterdam tourists if it lears from the last of the dwindling gay visitors that have not given up on the sinking ship of Amsterdam desparately searching where the last Paddo can be bought or where he can still buy hash to take back to his hotelroom. Where the last of our inalienable desire for sex drugs and rock n roll can still be found, maybe it's still easier than in Berlin, Madrid or islands such as Gran Canaria or Ibiza, but for how much longer?
Our own art is still hidden in the drawer next to the bed:
The time is nigh
where we homos retreat again to the fantasies hidden in the pedestal cupboard behind our beds and worship that treasure chest with cherished content. Did not the Medici's and Borgia's, and the Renaissance popes already acknowlegdge those strange men who were not interested in women, rejected the duty to reproduce, but nevertheless were of priceless value in their fixation on the anatomy of the male body, but also broader, had a special eye for desire, sublime ecstasy or exceptional sensibiliteit for beauty, science and architecture. Up to this day in Florence, Rome, Milan and Venice takes place today the core of the Roman Catholic and worldly power rituals under celestiële look of correctly their master work. Sadly the moralism of their employers and fear for being accused of sodomy (which was in thos3e days often used almost symultaneously with heresy) by showing unconcealed male beauty forced them them to denounce each suggestion of 'unhealthy' interest by reducing the sexual organs to baby formats or hide them under loincloth, articulated legs, fig leaves or castration. Or was it just a case of: sorrie, professional hazard: it protruded and broke off! No wonder that in the first period of enlightenment after WWII, end sixties this led to the protest agains Victorian and eclesial prudery led to overcompensation of huge cocks in the early porn of Tom of Finland, Willem Kok a.o., Whe had not seen that since the days of Pompeï. we can see the same today: the public, even more prudish then in the renaissance appreciates homosexual entertainment but only in cabaret: the masses will always want their André van Duyn, Paul de Leeuw, Geer and Goor, sometimes with even a touch of moralism and 'good taste' added for flavour by the likes of Jos Brink or Antoine Bodar?
To get to grips with the scope of the hidden consumer market for a homosexual museum today, we first have to ask ourselves why gay tourists have dropped Amsterdam as favorite destination, that reason is not necessairily equivalent to why we as Dutch citizens have dropped it. Not because it is no longer the preamble of euro-tolerance, but maybe just because we have that typical Dutch approach of being ultra critical; loudmouthing about our shortcomings. There is one group wich in spite of the crisis still score best in faithfulness towards Amsterdam: the middle-age or senior homosexual, the army of homosexual gepensiones rushing in, insofar they survived aids and still count on a reasonable pension, more sexual aktve than is good for them and uninhibited by shame, joyously sexually interested, dressed in well kept but now too tight old leathers. The homo establishment, voiced through the COC, be it their Amsterdam branch or the national board, may have focussed on political lobbying, but with it seem to have lost touch with their original adherents and the member services, accomodation facilities and their network to entertain supporters, to keep them belonging and subscribing has been neglected and left with disdain to the 'commercial circuit'. A large part of their sexually active original supporters find themselves no longer represented and catered for because the new style org has to have 'broad appeal' they themselves have become afraid of their own minorities and shown them the door.
Losing or disposing of the building at Rozenstraat, just next door to other tourist attractions as the Ann Frank house, Westerkerk and Homomonument, a spot where the homo museum could have made a start in a building that has proved its possibilities as party venue, embedded in Amsterdam's night culture with the splendid maze if backroioms, staircases, toilets and multy purpose theatre room with unexpected light and sound facilities was useful for a multiplicity of functions. Letting all that go is considered by many as a capital historical blunders of the past decade. Many years of successful and lucrative theater events, festivals and an extremely responsible strong group of volunteers still have not found a venue that can fully take its place. Time and again, when smaller activities which still take place in the building, visitors are amazed by the possibilities of the rooms, investments in powerleads for theater lighting and accessibility for the disabled now seem left to go to waste. Maybe it is still possible to reverse this strategy; it will surely be less expensive than looking for new accomodation and starting there from bare ground. All the more so as inexperienced little over-democratic boards are inclined to be impressed by project-developers and designers and all too easy are seduced by expensive luxuriously designs without ever concidering the following exploitation costs or mortgage repayment.
final conclusions and suggestions:
It is of the utmost importance that, much more than with all other musea we have in this country, this museum must be founded within its community and stand strong and stable within the turmoil we experience there. Much more so than with any other group even those who experienced minority oppression and discrimination, like the Jewish Historical Museum, to secure that we will not fall victim of the traps of moralism or art theory. by careful considerations with setting up a team of trailblazers, initiators and curators (joke, own experience with new museale institutions) for a homomuseum-in-establishing.
The regular (historically pretty gay) art mafia hardly dares to tread the field of confrontation within our culture and rather wanders away from sexuality. The buck stops at Andy Warhol or Keith Haring. Even with the work of Mapplethorpe they recoiled after political and clergy led indignation. In the Netherlands it has never come to such controversy, Not because we are any more tolerant. Mostly because we never got any further than broad exhibitions within the safety of regular museums and institutions. Exhibitions by Rein van der Lugt (Flipofes art centre Lijnbaan 1977), Rooie Flikkers (Melkweg 1978-79, Cobra Amstelveen 2008, Kunsthal Rotterdam 2007, Tramtunnel and Pulchri The Hague 2009) were set up with a broad, also heterosexual public, or innocent vulnerable youth groups or schoolgirls in mind, desexualised to such an extent that no more offence was given, but also the interest and enthusiasm from within our culture was dampened seriously.
A homo museum with no solid plans to get started for the foreseeable future can hardly be expected to be ready and able to produce a content or context wish list or conservation guidelines and priorities. The IHLIA (homodoc) in its new location dipped their toes in the water, sensing temperature by means of some modest exhibition initiatives. Although I by no means want to minimise their role in archiving our culture, their emphasis still focussed on conservation and methodical scientific archiving and catalogueing. Accessibility and making what is there already remains until now very dry, and not easily accessible for anybody outside scientifically trained researchers and journalists. Their work in the field of in particular visual art is still embrional. Either access is facilitated for school, backseat and internet- youth, or they must be trained a lot of more on research instruments open to your average student if we want them to be able access their gems of content.
In that area db/queerart with its direct approach and unabashed testosterone and groin approach of the information overloaded young generation can bridge a gap between brain and abdomen, science and entertainment. Even if db/queerart also has a long way to go in opening ways to implement web-2.0 possibilities for interaction on the web. and forgeing together local and international accomplishments in this field, to open up the peculiar strechths of Dutch queer culture, tolerance, polder-model and technical expertise for our international allies and tourists. Juist op dat gebied sluit de db/queerart aan op de direkte benadering en ombeschroomde onderbuik benadering van de testosteron overladen jongeren en kan van daaruit een brug worden geslagen tussen brain en onderbuik.
the simplicity and easy access to social network groups is one of thge great advantages of the previous decade, opening up incredible opportunities, but also with one major disadvantage:
In early days the homosexual community felt like a large whole that felt bonded with other minorities which were easy victim of discrimination. Thus it coöperated initially in the fight to reach lowering of the age or consent without any qualms with the Martijn Association, which defended the interests of adults who feel sexually attracteded to young people. Also passing on information was based on the old proverb 'you learn best on an old bike'. That way our circuits brought together various sub-groups and ages in a very natural and intense fashion. Now all kinds of groups look for and find only their own sub-minority. With regard to age, but also with regard to sexual preferences, lifestyle, education, income, gender, ethnicity, fetishisms or dresscodes, and their options to mix and take some time to flutter, from one to the other, before making up their mind about where they belong most are limited, and they are very much less at ease outside their small originally chosen circles. This principle reinforces sectarisme and isolationism. Possibly, in above line one can read a somewhat paternalising tone towards the ordinary homo' otherwise known as the COC or Gaykrant variety. I do appreciate the role of them in promoting broader (self)acceptance, but consider it as important task for all of us not to lose the wider perspective. Within our organisations we could strive for more internal tolerantce and appreciate our multicoloured diversity some more. It's understandable that our old leatherqueens see Gaykrant homos and their idealisesd version of the long despised heterosexual marriage as bourgeois and a undesirable direction for us to move in, while in return Gaykrant adepts will make remarks aS: "those extreme hedonistic promiscuous types with their emphasis on sex spoil wider acceptance for us all".
this was written after the death of Ramses Shaffy, national icon, bon-vivant, singer, actor, alcoholic, gay sweethart. He passed away on world aids day. So, whether there ever will be a Duch homo museum or not, and maybe we should just not hurry too much, because of the sorry times we live in and also, as some say, you only start a museum for something that's dead . . . .
Or am I now ramming the point home we need the museum now ? Do times of depression not offer the ideal opportunity to start a new approach? Why I'd like it myself ? If anything, just to polish a golden dildo every now and then and make a wish. or make one little pixel shinbe a bit brighter; corriect a beamer alignment; replace a lamp, sit down behind a cash register? Poor myself and the occasional guest a drink while telling him (or her) how great greation was back in the past century and how incredibly priviledged I feel having been present and part of so much of it,
and even survived.
If I continue in this sentimental fashion, I might as well stop and move my ass to "de Klok" and follow Ramses' example,
drowning my sorrow, that is . . .
after re-turning with quite a dizzy head I resumed watching the "hour of the wolf" documentary on his life and cut these quotes:
Louis van Dijk:
Ramses was acceptée. He had adopted the bohemien lifestyle of the jazz world, only, jazz also has something bourgeois and Rammses was everything but that! middle-class also stands for: nurturing your talents in a doubtful way, to square 'm off without daring to jump the fence. It is: safety first!
Will I succeed to remain vulnerable? Either you are or you 're not. I've been told I am. Will I be able to maintain my shield? It does not work that way: if your pleasures are fucked up by others; if you're corrupted by who-knows-what arguments, if pleasure is almost prohibited, THEN you, or your environment is really far gone!
No, it's not easy, but one learns to live with those threats. Calvinism has fucked us up deeply over here. To oppose it I have returned their favour by just giving pleasure, as much as was within my power. If it's rammed into us, this opposite of pleasure, we just have to ram back! If we allow our souls to become ugly and just accept oppression, then I'm suffering. I'm pleasure; that's where music comes from. Sometimes, in your failure, to your utter surprise there it is: WOW, that! HAHA, pleasure: les problèmes sont sous sol!
As heteros have built our society to leave behind their financial, material and moral heritage mostly for their posterity or, if they are religiously inclined, use the opportunity to get hold of a seat in the afterlife by means of a legacy to their denomination, many homoos ane not aware of these options, reject them or ignore the special possibilities that exist for them in this area. If the COC and other homno cultural organisations would draw attention to these possibilities with some more emphasis, something only the AIDS fund does to great effect, we could build a much more energetic homosexual culture fund. The Amsterdam COC, if it could have drawn from suxch a fund to assist in programming events in their building could have survived and prospered at the Rozenstraat. Isn't it time to get us a SIRE tv-spot and a campaign with ads in our own media to inform our supporters and their next of kin of the many funds where their heritage can be well used. Are hgomos aware, of the many new funds registered by name for specified goals, which have recently been set up by the Prince Bernard fund?
Wouldn't it be beautiful if the current db/queerart website in the coming years would start tu function, in advance for the physical construction, as a thinktank, explore experiments, trialprojects, and gradually reform towards a new institution, growin slowly thus avoiding disastrous errors ?
To get us discussing these options more widely I am at present working on a dvd/blue ray disk concerning homosexual art history. Hopefully I'll be able to tour the COC' s and other socially cultural institutions, with it have discussions afterwards to feel the climate and decide what direction we could go in promoting ourcultural heritage. Around RoZa/pride or the Delft owee of 2010 I hope to be ready to go on tour.
It still is all about realizing dreams . . .