What I was able to take home with me, however, was an idea on display! In the exhibition LOVE AT FIRST FIGHT! Queer Movements in Germany since Stonewall (through fall 2020), the display is based entirely on simple clothes racks. They were spray-painted in red, a nod to the protests and homemade signs of the movements in the title. The racks were used in three ways:
- hung with clothes hangers reduced to just the hook and a clip which held paper materials (photo above left: exhibition guides in different languages)
- strung with protest signs evoking those from past movements (photo above right; slogan T-shirt hung beside). It was wonderful to be able to take these into your hand. For me, it sparked the realization of how difficult it could be to physically partake in protests in which your body is the subject of debate.
- ringed with zipties which fastened to the corners of laminated sheets. The sheets consisted of regular paper printed with various texts and pictures, each one attached at all four corners to the nearby sheets or to the clothes rack—almost like a patchwork quilt. (No photo; I didn't want to bother the visitors using those displays!)
This is an incredibly simple and effective means of display, not to mention cost-effective; IKEA sells clothes racks like this for under $10! Three cheers for the Schwules Museum and these two wonderful exhibitions. I'll definitely be coming back for future shows.