Ghost and Golem Chapter III - Clinic at the Park, a solo exhibition at PF Gallery, Curitiba, Brazil. Curator: Sagi Refael. Gallerist: Eduardo Amato Cardoso. July through November 2022.
This project traces a cultural and personal junction point, unfolded through a queer-POV short story, and installed in the exhibition space in a way which reminds a CSI type of story. Like in a telenovela, it showcases a mixture of family-oriented complications, cultural stereotypes, sexual minorities, and the genre of journalism/archiving, meeting visual art.
The story is carried by key characters:
Dan Allon’s mother’s transsexual aunt, Dandira, Georges Burou, a French surgent and a pioneer in sex change surgery and a police officer (PM), Aloísio, who was dating Dandira, and killed her in order of preventing the surgery with Burou. The story takes place in SP of the 1970s during the dictatorship.
The exhibition is designed as a journalistic document, showing artefacts from Dandira’s life. It contains drawings of scenes from her life, alongside with newspaper clips, show invitations, as well as letters between Dandira and professor Burou. It is composed by an installation of – curtains, floor drawing, painting of oil on paper and ink on paper, and documents, as well as a sound work. The exhibition space is intimate, and invites the viewers to collect clues for understanding who Dandira was, and what happened to her.
I really appreciate what you are doing, and hope you will find Oli's family.
"As opposed to her Polacas friends, Dandira was a woman. Few knew her Jewish masculine upbringing, or true-life story as a holocaust survivor who was able to arrive in Brazil during WW2.
Dandria’s friends altered their bodies to approximate the other sex without claiming the subjectivity of that sex. As years went by, she could not have lived with the social duality of female attributes and homosexual subjectivity. Dandira wanted more, she wanted completion, she wanted to love and to be loved.
However, men that were looking to date a Polcas or Travesties, did not care about the goals or happiness of that person, and were disapproving any change in plan. Those men saw Travesties and Polacas only as “perfected-men object of desire” for themselves."
"Dear Max and Mirjam,
I am sorry I have not been writing or calling for a while. I had many performances lately in Taib, and I have also been doing some work with the community here which takes up all of my time.
I wanted to come and visit you in Israel this year, but I am going under a surgery that I have been long waiting for. Don't worry, I am not sick, but it is a lifesaving operation and after that all will be all right. Then I hope I could come visit, later.
I think about you all the time, and I hope you are doing well in the farm.
Rio de Janeiro, 20 June, 1975
Dandira my love,
I am not able to hide it, you probably realised it by now, I am so used to being misunderstood, you probably can read my mind with ease. I was thinking to myself, when we met, this is impossible, how can someone understand me after only one meeting, it must be a joke or a trick. Your marvellous blue jacket mesmerized me, the way you shook off the pollen, with so few movements and words, like the wonderful flower that you are, of the ones, you only get letters from home about.
And now, that we have met more than once, I still cannot forget our first meeting, and I love you letters about it, even the letters you have crossed some words several times, I don't like things hidden from me, but I love those letters, nevertheless. Like long sleepless hot nights. I want to come and spent nights like those with you in São Paulo.
Since I am home, I cannot concentrate on my patrols thinking about you. Actually, I was hoping to get a letter from you, and even decided not to write anymore until I receive something from you, I know you are busy with your shows. But I could not wait anymore. Yes, I need you, I need you very much, love. You are the only one I can talk to, about the beach, about the clouds, about my dreams. Please do not ever change. Every time I see a flower it smiles at me, and I think of you.
I go to the same Boteco to have lunch every day, and I keep my uniform on, and even though I am quite famous here in the neighborhood, nobody says anything, and treats me with respect and like everyone else. Maybe even some do not know who I am. I know everyone's faces here by heart, even their heartbeats I know. But I am like a fly over the food, just a fly who blends, listens, and waits. Oh and I met on the street one of the people from the party, you know him for sure, Roberto or something, the guy who went to Cambridge.
I am drawn to these neighborhoods, I want them to have law and order. But I cannot wait to leave it, to move to you, to move on with my life, take off the past and throw it away. You must feel very lonely without me, no? I tried to call you, and you did not answer. I will come to see you soon, on the 10th or the 11th, depending on work, wait for me, I will look for you.
See you soon, my tender,
Special thanks: Casa do Povo and the team, Benjamin Seroussi, Miriam and Shimon Allon, Eduardo Amato Cardoso, Sagi Refael, Franziska Harnisch, Mariana Zanetti, Oz Gora, Iris Weisman, Yiftah Peled, Tacto Atelie Coletivo, Dimas Celestino. Photos: Jonas Sanson.