Cruising is the quest for sex by homosexual men in public spaces. It can take place in parks, public toilets, and car parks, as well as in dedicated establishments such as sex clubs and bath houses. Sexual encounters—often between strangers—disappear in plain sight. But cruising cannot be limited to any one location, nor can it be reduced to neither men nor gays.
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 combination of digital hook up apps, urban development, and the commodification of LGBTQ+ cultures means that cruising grounds are continually adapting. Today, technologies are generating a psychosexual geography that spreads across homes and profiles.
Cruising Pavilion: Architecture, Gay Sex and Cruising Culture (Boxen at ArkDes) 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. Their works are a collection of interpretative stances and sideways glances that together map cruising cultures and explore the sensual production of space. But this is not a history, nor is at a documentary. 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.
Cruising is not obsolete. Public sex remains a laboratory for political futures and spaces, and is central to understanding new ways of thinking, living, loving, meeting, and belonging.
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 at ArkDes is an exhibition that represents 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 (Ludlow38, Goethe Institut), have explored the different directions by which cruising practices have evolved. In this third and final edition, the exhibition focuses broadly on the intersection of sexuality and the architecture of the city.