Freitag, 1. Dezember 2023

Six Quilts

A Public Art Project at the Sports Facility at Ebereschenstrasse 15, Munich

The artist Philipp Gufler has been working on his quilt series since 2013, and it includes the six pieces now permanently installed at the sports facility at Ebereschenstrasse 15 in Munich. An artist’s book about the first thirty works of the series was published in 2020. The main impetus behind the works in this series is to make queer history visible—meaning, to give visibility to the histories of lesbian, gay, bi- and asexual as well as non-binary, trans- and intersex people. Every quilt is dedicated to a person, a place, or an important moment in queer history. The combination of images and texts, screen-printed onto transparent fabrics, visualizes something that is still missing in history books: experiences and life stories outside of what for a long time was, and partially still is, considered the “norm.” 

At the same time, the transparency of the fabrics also embodies the ephemerality of memories and underlines the importance of producing an inclusive kind of historical narrative. The choice of medium is particularly important for the series: at its most essential, a quilt is a piece of fabric that has been pieced together out of different snippets of fabric. In the North American context, it is considered an heirloom object that can be handed down from generation to generation. With his works, Gufler connects to that same idea: continuing history and passing it on. 

The quilt format is also associated with the US-based Names Project Foundation, which started working on a quilt for the countless long-ignored victims of the AIDS crisis back in 1987. With his works, Gufler too wants to remind people of those who were long forgotten and give them their deserved place in history. The artist underscores this goal in choosing the measurements of his fabric works. At a size of 180 x 90 cm, they are modeled on the proportions of the human body. The combination of these measurements and the transparency of the material produces visual works that can be read as historical archive turned art, alluding to the precarious situation of queer people and their past. 

Introduction by Nicholas Maniu

Texts on the Quilts by Philipp Gufler

Quilt #39 (Alexander Sacharoff) by Nicholas Maniu
Quilt #40 (Karl Heinrich Ulrichs) by Albert Knoll
Quilt #41 (Women’s Resistance Camp Hunsrück) by Nicholas Maniu
Quilt #42 (Guido Vael) by Sabrina Mittermeier
Quilt #44 (Hof-Atelier Elvira) by Linda Strehl
Quilt #45 (Justin Fashanu) by Christina Spachtholz

Fotos: Franzi Müller Schmidt & Peter Schinzler for QUIVID Kunst am Bau München

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