The aesthetics of cruising extend far beyond the spaces and situations in which the hunt for sex takes place, offering itself as a means of threshold crossing, as an invitation in experimentation and empathy, and as a spiritual practice of acceptance and non-attachment. Cruising is a register of awareness, a mode of being, a gestural vocabulary replete with actions and inactions that subvert productive, normative ways of moving through space: stalling, idling, looping, back-tracking, pausing, watching, revealing, concealing, communicating non-verbally, abandoning.
Cruising exists both as subject and methodology throughout the artistic practices of both Liz Rosenfeld (Berlin) and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay (Edinburgh), expressing itself not only in media and performance works, but also as an approach to research, writing, and of course, living.
Rosenfeld and Nemerofsky meet to talk, touch, and feel their way through the diverse ways cruising intersects in their lives and practices.
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay is an artist and diarist. His artistic gestures in sound, video and text contemplate the history of song and the gender of voices, the rendering of love and emotion into language, and the resurrection and manipulation of voices – sung, spoken or screamed. In his work you will find bells, bouquets, enchanted forests, folding screens, gay elders, glitter, gold leaf, love letters, imaginary paintings, madrigals, megaphones, mirrors, naked men, sign language, subtitles, and the voices of birds, boy sopranos, contraltos, countertenors and sirens. His work is in the permanent collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, the Polin Museum for the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Thielska Galleriet Stockholm and the National Gallery of Canada. Nemerofsky is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, where he is part of the Cruising the 70s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures research team.
Liz Rosenfeld is a Berlin-based artist utilising the disciplines of film, video and live performance to convey a sense of past and future histories. Rosenfeld is invested in concepts of how history can be queered and experienced through the moment and ways in which it is lived and remembered. She explores how we identify ourselves with in/out community and social poly-relationship configurations. Rosenfeld is part of the Berlin-based moving image production collective NowMomentNow and is currently the Goethe Institut Artist in Residence at LUX. During her residency, Liz will continue her creative body of research that she has been developing for the past year and a half for her first feature film, a futuristic queer speculative fiction work entitled FOXES. Central to her research are questions exploring queer dystopia, a positive embrace of human apocalypse, invisible genocide and the parallels between the way information was publicly disseminated in the early days of the AIDS/ HIV crisis, and the current state of climate change and environmental destruction.
Image: Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Grand Audrelisque, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.