Close[t] Demonstrations Exhibition Programme


3-24 November 2023

Semmelweisklinik, Hockegasse 37/4 1180 Vienna


Opening hours

Thursday - Sunday 12:00 - 16:00

Wednesday: 16.00 - 20:00


Special events:


3 November, Friday: Vernissage 18:00 - 22:00 (dry event)

18:30 - Welcome words by organizers

19:00 - Performance by Pêdra Costa


4 November, Saturday: 

12:00 - 16.00 Opening hours

16:30 - 19:00 A dialogue without a common language. Creative writing workshop with Masha Beketova and Syrine Boukadida (Eng; Ger; Arab; Fr; Ukr; Ru) Register here

Being queer, migrant, PoC,... are all identities that make us at the same time very visible and very invisible in the societies we live in.

We might not share the same experiences but do we share that moment of being misunderstood? Don’t we start to mumble the moment we have to express ourselves in a new language? Don’t we get asked in what language we dream? Don’t we get frustrated when our body language, our gestures and facial expression become an obstacle? Aren’t we asked to not overwhelm others with our emotions and to pick one identity at a time? How many times were you told that you are too much?

We are neither going to provide answers nor solutions to these questions, we are also here to question. We are working towards providing a space where we can be ourselves, all of it at once. Where grammar is so old school and where norms are out of the room. We want to create a dialogue between two people, many people, thoughts, ideas, images, objects, nature, and creatures. Such dialogue doesn't necessarily need a common language.

Writing is full of contradictions. It can be a state of vulnerability and power at the same time. It implies such an openness that is hard to find in other experiences. Writing can be a liberating and empowering process, if not approached from a convenient perspective of “getting it right”.

In our previous writing groups, we invited people, who shared various languages, multiple identifications, and migration histories, and often ended up sitting with a bunch of people who seemed to share some experiences but have often written in dialects and language variations inaccessible for each other. It was never a problem. The moment we started talking about writing, we just connected.

In this workshop, we will collectively draw on our shared experiences of multiple estrangements in various contexts. We will first look at how creative expression can be blocked through multiple discriminations. "Who will ever read and understand me?" "Where can I ever show my texts without commodifying my marginalized positionality?" "How can I address my various experiences in a safe way while communities are so small?" "Can I still be creative while crisis and war is ongoing and omnipresent?" These questions will be considered and countered creatively in group work.

Masha Beketova is a writer and culture researcher interested in queer diasporas, drinking tea, untranslatabilities and observing rain. Masha was born in Kharkiv and lives in Germany since 2004.

Syrine Boukadida is a psychologist and project manager. She lives between Tunis and Berlin. She works for the Lesbenberatung/LesMigraS Berlin and manages the LGBTIQ+ asylum project at Mawjoudin (We exist). She also facilitates workshops on topics related to migration,asylum, BIPoC empowerment and multiple discriminations.


5 November, Sunday: 

12:00 - 16.00 Opening hours

14:00 - 16:00 Guided tour in Turkish with Tegiye Birey Register here


10 November, Friday: 

12:00 - 16.00 Opening hours

Note: between 16:00 and 17:00 we will be transforming the space, not all features of the exhibition will be available, but the visitors are welcome to stay inside and explore the ones that are.

17:00 - 19:00 Lecture “Queer Invisibility, Archival Poetry and Utopian In-Betweenness” by Elahe Haschemi Yekani Register here CANCELLED due to health reasons, however there is a text by Elahe Haschemi Yekani on the topic at the exhibition catalogue (in English, German and Ukrainian)

This presentation offers an interrogation of what a queer temporality of emancipation might look like by way of a reading of the documentary film Între revoluții [Between Revolutions], directed by Vlad Petri and written together with Lavinia Braniște. I am especially interested in the juxtaposition of the letters read in voice over and the documentary form. The audience is presented rare historical documentary footage from the late 1970s to early 1990s from Romania and Iran while the women and their same-sex desire is never visually depicted. The film provides a poetic reflection on the in_visibility of female queer desire that I understand as a form of archival poetry invested not in linear conceptions of liberation but in the queer temporality of the in-between that acquires yet another contemporary dimension against the backdrop of the current uprising in Iran.

11 November, Saturday: 

12:00 - 16.00 Opening hours

12:00 - 14:00 Guided tour in Russian with Iain Zabolotny Register here

15:00 - 16:00 “The Magic Closet and the Dream Machine” arts-based research project presentation by Katharina Wiedlack, Masha Godovannaya, Ruthia Jenrbekova and Iain Zabolotny Register here

In a quiet location inside the exhibition space, shielded from the daylight and a bit secluded are “the Magic Closet and the Dream Machine.” This “Magic Closet” is a space, where visitors can experience first-hand parts of the arts-based methodology we call the Dream Machine; It utilizes a modified version of Brion Gysin’s do-it-yourself stroboscopic flicker device to bring traces of queer resistance and existence to the surface. Within the space, visitors can further enter yet another Magic Closet: the digital archive of previously recorded traces of queer post-Soviet knowledge and resilience that appear in a multitude of texts, videos, graphic and photographic work.

These artful traces are the results of the arts-based research project “The Magic Closet and the Dream Machine: Post-Soviet Queerness, Archiving, and the Art of Resistance.” Most of these artistic testimonies were produced by the participants of the Dream Machine workshops in different cities in the global Northeast and Southeast; They are commented by and interwoven with articles, videos and commentaries of the project team on the project’s methodology and the experiences we had during its implementation.


12 November, Sunday: 

12:00 - 16.00 Opening hours

12:00 - 14:00 Guided tour in English with the curator Anna T. Register here

14:00 - 16:00 Guided Tour in Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian-Montenegrin Register here


18 November, Saturday: 

12:00 - 16.00 Opening hours

16:00 - 18:00 Discussion “Art and its conditions of (im)possibility. A queer conversation” with Olenka Syaivo Dmytryk, Vishnia Vishnia, Tonya (Ton) Мelnyk and Masha Ravlyk Lukianova. Moderated by Lesia Pagulich Register here

This combination of a mini-lecture and a discussion by Ukranian scholars, artists, and activists invites everyone to a conversation about the conditions of (im)possibility for art creation: from material conditions of cultural production to geopolitical conditions influencing gender and sexual dissent. The war against Ukraine aggravated by global health and political crises creates new challenges and vulnerabilities for transgender and queer artists. What are the conditions of art production and ‘queer visibility’ in these circumstances? What can art offer for contemporary urgencies and practices of resistance? Participants will talk about wartime Ukraine, cherishing queer voices and reflecting upon the conditions of possibility for artistic transnational solidarity against imperial violence and a multitude of oppressions.

This event is for a broad audience, anyone interested in questions of art and queer voices, as well as experiences of war and its influence on cultural production. While the event foregrounds the experiences of transgender and queer people, the intended audience is not limited to LGBTQ communities. We envision this event as an invitation for a broad public conversation about the importance of queer voices and art in resistance against imperial violence and a multitude of oppressions.

Olenka Syaivo Dmytryk is a librarian and researcher from Ukraine currently based in the UK. They have broad research interests from gender and sexuality theories and social movements studies to art histories of Eastern Europe. Syaivo is a PhD graduand in Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge and holds MA degrees in Gender Studies and Cultural Studies. They volunteer supporting refugees and organise cultural events and protests in their free time.

Vishnia Vishnia is a visual artist, queer feminist, pervert creature, and researcher based in Kyiv. They mostly do drawing and illustration, but also different hand crafts such as tattoos and sculpture. At the moment, Vishnia Vishnia lives in their own private queer bubble, being engaged with maintaining a connection network among a small community.

Tonya (Ton) Мelnyk
Born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1988. Graduated from Kyiv National University of Technology and Design, courses of contemporary art in Kyiv (in 2014) and School of engaged art in St. Petersburg (in 2015). Since 2015 – is co-founder and participant of sewing cooperative Shvemy (Kyiv - St. Petersburg), in 2016 – of sewing cooperative ReSew (Kyiv). Artist, queer-feminist, grassroot activist. Their main media are textiles, clothes, theatrical and performative practices, street art, video, collective practices. The main topics artist work with are fairly priced labor, alternative economy, issues of discriminations and ways to overcome it, selfcare and anti-burn practices, ecological issues, relationships between human and nonhuman, antiwar topic. Works in duet with Masha Ravlyk Lukianova, currently lives in Finland.

Masha Ravlyk Lukianova
Seamstress, artist, grassroot activist, queer-feminist. Was born in 1987 in Volzsky, Russia. Graduated the faculty of liberal arts and sciences of St. Petersburg State University in 2015, the program of art criticism, and School of engaged art in St. Petersburg in 2015. Co-founder and participant of sewing cooperative ReSew (in Kyiv since 2016) and sewing cooperative Shvemy (St. Petersburg-Kyiv since 2015). Works in duet with Tonya Melnyk. Practices such media as textile, clothes, performance, video, dance, collective practices. Lived in Kyiv since 2016. Now has a temporary protection in Finland.


We can provide free childcare for children ages 1-12 for the participants of this discussion. If you want to use it, please fill out the registration form till November 8th. For participants who do not need childcare the registration is possible until the day before the event.

The childcare is provided by the Flying Nannies. They will come to the exhibition space at 16.00 on the day of the discussion, pick up the children and go with them to their space (DOCK They will bring the children back at 19.00 to the exhibition space.


19:00 - 21:00 Performance by Pêdra Costa CANCELLED


19 November, Sunday

12:00 - 16.00 Opening hours

12:00 - 14:00 Guided tour in German with Markus Firnkranz and Mette Freidel with Austrian Sign language interpreting by Theresa Kober Register here

14:00 - 16:00 Guided tour in Ukrainian with Liubov Samoylovich Registrer here

16:00 - 19:00 Discussion “Optics of Queer Migration” with Ewa Maczynska, Tegiye Birey and Henrie Dennis Register here

What does the adjective “queer” do to the noun “migration”? With the discussion Optics of Queer Migration, we are interested in exploring what the figure of the queer migrant provides, hits and misses for those who claim it as an identity, and how it directs everyday encounters, border regimes as well as activism, art, and research. We are interested in canvassing the ways in which race and class shape the politics of queer migration in and out of sight. With this invitation, we propose to engage in an exercise of collective reflexivity on the kaleidoscopic politics of queer migration.

Ewa Maczynska has a PhD in International Relations from Central European University and is currently working as a visual artist. In her PhD dissertation she studied subjectivity formation of contemporary progressive, equality, and justice oriented European activists who came in solidarity with migrants in Denmark, Hungary, and Sweden. She argued that activists subjectivity disclosed a series of tension and contradictions, particularly in regards to activists critique of neoliberal capitalism and their embeddedness in and reproduction of neoliberal discourses, which in turn marked the limitations of contemporary European justice oriented politics.

Henrie Dennis is a Nigerian lesbian activist, art curator, and cultural mediator and the founder of Afro Rainbow Austria. She is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the Academy of Fine Arts. Her work centers on themes of queerness, migration, gender, anti-racism, and decolonization. A dedicated advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and representation, she leverages her platform to amplify marginalized voices and build bridges between diverse communities. Through the medium of art and dialogue, she challenges societal norms and promotes understanding and inclusivity.

Tegiye Birey is a text worker and community-enthusiast from the Mediterranean. She is a PhD Candidate in Gender Studies at Central European University and Utrecht University, and her research performs a postcolonial/decolonial feminist reading of migration solidarity. Tegiye has a BA in Women’s Studies and Political Science with a minor in French Studies from the University of New Hampshire, and a MSc in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has worked in the field of refugee rights, engaged in gender, history and youth research and training, and taken part in feminist, queer, anti-militarist, and anti-racist networks transnationally.

We can provide free childcare for children ages 1-12 for the participants of this discussion. If you want to use it, please fill out the registration form till November 8th. For participants who do not need childcare the registration is possible until the day before the event.

The childcare is provided by the Flying Nannies. They will come to the exhibition space at 16.00 on the day of the discussion, pick up the children and go with them to their space (DOCK They will bring the children back at 19.00 to the exhibition space.



24 November, Friday

12:00 - 21:00 Opening hours

18:00 - 21:00 Finissage