The Queer Family Album – Me and my three daddies
Photo object, C-Print and silvergelatin prints in two boxes, each 21 x 29,7 cm, 2014.
Six images are supposed to illustrate “Me and my three daddies”. Among them is a baby picture. In the lower left corner a dark stain indicates that somebody was holding a camera in order to take this picture. The gesture announces that the photographer is present whilst suggesting a certain proximity between the baby and (probably) a beloved person. Is it this baby asking the reader and viewer of the family album to identify his three daddies in six pictures? Or does the “me” belong to the boygirl in General Idea’s Nazi milk? In front of a bright orange background holding a glass of white fluid close to his white mustache, this figure shows the main masculine symbol of Nazism as just a childish trace. For the artist group General Idea, who worked with the heteronormative triangle of mum/dad/baby and shifted its social meaning in their artwork, the outcome of having three daddies could definitely be a baby or a baby Nazi. But the Nazi could also be a daddy for someone else, in this collection and then one would find four daddies for one baby. One cannot be sure what happened first, nor what kind of kinship is reliable in this queer album of family relations. The photographer’s gesture, which transforms to an arm holding a glass of milk transforms to a sleeve with glitter swastikas on Helmut Berger’s glamorous uniform. The 1970s actor became famous not only for his Nazi roles but also for his drag performances as Marlene Dietrich. Therefore there are two pictures showing him/her. There might be more security within Boban Stojanović’s queer performance, although in this context the gesture of a dancing queen might be close to the Nazi salute. Stojanović’s performance at a queer cabaret in Belgrade in 2008 related past and present day fascisms to each other in post-war Serbia. This performance centered on a triad; the holy family, the nation state, and fascism. The daddy circle is closed with Fikret Alić, who is shaking hands directly with the viewer of atrocity and camp images. Alić became known as the emaciated man behind barbwire, filmed as a prisoner of the above-mentioned Omarska camp in the Bosnian war in 1992. He escaped the camp employing a wartime drag survival strategy: in women’s clothes he was supposed to be taken to another camp for forced sexual labor then managed to escape and survived. This image of him was taken recently.