GREY IS THE NEW PINK: the exhibition room by room

Love, physical intimacy and affection are ageless! While love, sex and intimacy of young people are publicly discussed, the need for affection and intimacy of people over 60, 70 and 80 often remains a taboo topic.

In the exhibition GREY IS THE NEW PINK, objects of courtship include such things as musical insruments, amulets, carved love poems, agony aunt columns and advice manuals from the museum's collection.

Artist Jess T. Dugan and scholar Vanessa Fabbre portrait transgender and gender non-conforming adults over 50, together with their personal stories, in their series “To Survive on This Shore”.  For over five, years, Dugan and fabbre travelled through the United States to photograph and interview transgender and gender nonconforming older adults.

On the other hand, German author, director and film producer Hartmut  Jahn explores physicality and desire in older people in his short film “Akt: Inge”.  Sensitively and empathetically, he presents a portrait of a former nude model, using film as means to explore the arc of tension between age and desire, nakedness and physicality.

Of course, love and affection also play a major role within the family. For generations in Oaxaca, Mexico, brides at their wedding ceremonies wear lavish wedding dresses they have woven themselves. One of these dresses from the museum’s collection is also part of GREY IS THE NEW PINK. The tradition derives from the belief that, just like the old Aztec goddesses, the brides would also first see the pattern for their dress in a dream. Each bride keeps their dress well into old age. As one old lady said, she would like to wear it as her burial shroud so her husband will recognize her at heaven’s gate.

The role of love and affection within one’s own family is explored by the artists Ishola Akpo from Benin and Raymond Sagapolutele from New Zealand aswell. In Akpo’s portrait series “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux”, he shows his grandmother with objects she received as wedding gifts, the most important mementos of starting a family. In contrast, in his Works “Siva samoa” and “Poly Swag”, Sagapolutele documents his mother dancing the traditional Samoan Siva dance and, as a counterpoint, his sister in the same dance, developed and reinterpreted with Hip Hop elements for the next generation.

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