A Nazi Word for a Nazi Thing So Mayer
In 1937 the Nazis staged an exhibition of seized artworks to showcase the ‘perverse Jewish spirit’ pervading German culture. It contained work by Jewish artists, but also those were queer or foreign. It was an event that sought to define degeneracy and put it on display. This exhibition, Entartete Kunst, is just a single episode in a long running culture war, one that has always been fought on terms set by fascism. In A Nazi Word for a Nazi Thing, So Mayer gives us a new frame through which to view these intertwined yet disparate histories. Drawing on the work of dissident sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, South African artist Zanele Muholi as well as key proponents of queer cinema such as Pedro Almodovar and Derek Jarman, So Mayer demonstrates how artists have snuck things out of the traditional canon, playing against the grain to defy the patriarchal, imperialist and colonial terms which have been imposed on them. A Nazi Word for a Nazi Thing is a call to arms. It asks, how might we create a joyous riot? How might we use pleasure to decolonise gender and sexuality and refuse the prevailing fascist, box-ticking taxonomies?