We Feel a Desire for Caresses by Men (the Gothenburg Affair)


2021—2022

Performance approx. 40 mins (Swedish and English), structures in wood, archival pigment print on cotton paper, duo print on cotton paper, glass lens, mirror, tour guide system, vinyl record, vinyl record player, loudspeakers, light bulb with mixer set to 120 BPM.

—We feel a spiritual kinship with each other, seeing each other as lady friends.

We Feel a Desire for Caresses by Men (the Gothenburg Affair)
is based on an infamous trial in the late 1930s against a circle of homosexual men in Gothenburg. During these years, brief erotic encounters are initiated in the city’s public spaces and secret passages. But above all, the circle creates a community during festivities in each other’s homes, where stories, desires, and experiences are shared. They recite lyrics for each other, listen to music, and dance. They refer to each other by female names and describe the relationship as a spiritual kinship.” The legal proceedings investigated the network of this circle and the narratives that emerged are deeply influenced by the criminology and forensic psychiatry of the era. 

The performance includes excerpts from the interrogations, delivered by a performer in a choreographed dialogue with a collection of erotic photos found in the home of one of the men on trial. In the monologue, the performer alternates between the accused and the prosecutor. Part of the work consists of an edit of Jazzgossen, a song by Karl Gerhard from 1922, by the duo [inaudible], based on samples and filtered sounds from the original. The Jazzgossen lyrics are an early description of a subculture of men who use feminine-coded attributes and expressions, and the song may have been heard often at the circle’s many dances. 

Performance with Ido Grinberg, Bonniers Konsthall, 2024
Photo: Ida Sjödin/Bonniers Konsthall 
Installation view, Bonniers Konsthall, 2024
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger 
Performance with Ido Grinberg, Bonniers Konsthall, 2024
Photo: Ida Sjödin/Bonniers Konsthall 
Performance with Eddie Mio Larson, Göteborg Konsthall, 2022
Photo: Hendrik Zeitler 
Notes for Movement, fragment from erotic photo collection, part of the trial evidence Material taken from the Gothenburg City Hall Court and Magistrate's Archives, National Archives in Gothenburg.
Performance with Eddie Mio Larson, Göteborg Konsthall, 2022
Photo: Hendrik Zeitler 
We Feel a Desire for Caresses by Men (The Gothenburg Affair), excerpts 14 mins (performance approx. 40 min).
Cinematography: Camilla Topuntoli

Performers: Ido Grinberg and Eddie Mio (at Göteborg’s Konsthall). Director and Script: Conny Karlsson Lundgren. Script Edit: Clara Diesen. Sound: [inaudible] (Amanda Lindbom Edwall & Johan Sundell). Translation: Conny Karlsson Lundgren & Benny Nemer. Wood structures: Mattias Norström.
We Feel a Desire for Caresses by Men (the Gothenburg Affair) was part of the exhibition With New Eyes—The Interwar Period Seen Through A Lens at Göteborgs Konsthall 2021—2022. It is the second part of an extensive project that began with Prologue (the Gothenburg Affair), featured in the exhibition The New Eye at The Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg, 2021.The Gothenburg Affair in its entirety was commissioned by The Hasselblad Foundation and made possible with the support of the Erna & Victor Hasselblad Foundation Research Fellowship.Exhibitions and Performances: Göteborg Konsthall, Gothenburg SE. Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm SE. 
Performances: Norrlandoperan/Umeå Konsthall, Umeå SE.




 ©MMXIV Conny Karlsson Lundgren