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The Queer Family Album – Me and my three daddies

Me and My Three Daddies

 

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 small images, among them a baby picture of myself. In its left corner is a dark stain, indicating that one part of the camera lens had accidently been covered by a finger. This trace of the photographer’s presence suggests a certain proximity between me—the baby—and a (probably) beloved person. Another image shows 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 portrays the main masculine symbol of Nazism as a childish trace. While the first image inevitably blurs the line between 'me’ as the author and 'me’ as the baby in the picture, the artist group General Idea shifts the social meaning of the triangle of mum/dad/baby: having three daddies could indeed lead to a baby Nazi. The photographer’s gesture transforms to an arm holding a glass of milk, which then, in another image, transforms into a sleeve with glittering 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. There might be more certainty about belonging within Boban Stojanovic's queer performance in the fourth image. Placed in this context however, the gesture of a dancing queen could resemble a Nazi salute. Stojanovic's performance at a queer cabaret in Belgrade in 2008 related past and present-day fascisms to each other in postwar Serbia. It was centered on a triad: the holy family, the nation state, and fascism. The circle of daddies is closed with an image of Fikret Alic, who escaped camp Omarska in survival drag. This photograph was taken recently. It shows Alic shaking hands with an imaginary viewer of atrocity and camp images, evoking memories of the famous footage of him and other prisoners in 1992.