… Because you appear in it, and so does she and she.
Performance at KW Berlin

Conventional grammar is often replaced with dashes and ellipses, for it is especially the latter, those three clitorial dots, that typically omit the unspoken/unspeakable words of women´s desire. The ellipsis, favored by Barney, Vivien and Woolf, among others, was an often-used subversive tool of lesbian writers at the turn of the century, for it stresses that which is left out and unsaid in a world of legalistic male minds that want everything spelled out (and correctly, too). That ellipsis… yes, it may be the primary signifier of female desire that dare not speak its name, and Barney, one of its primary devotees.

In her performance at KW, Katharina Aigner offers insights into her research on a Parisian circle of lesbian writers of the 1920s and into the complex biography of Natalie Clifford Barney. Around 1909, Barney organized a salon in her apartment in the Paris quarter of Saint-Germain-des-Prés which took place over several decades. Adjacent to her pavilion and garden is still the Le Temple de l’Amitié (Temple of Friendship), currently inaccessible to the public. The starting points for the newly conceived performance presented at KW are the re-reading of Barney’s literary work in the context of the Second World War and the attempt to specifically create queer-feminist spaces, which is why the studio at KW will be temporarily transformed into a salon.

Titel: Text fragment from Pensées d’une amazone by Natalie Clifford Barney, 1920

Introduction from: Karla Jay, A Perilous Advantage, The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney, 1992, published and translated by Anna Livia

Photo and video documentation by Kelly Ann Gardener and Johanna Weiß