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Jez Dolan: Anders Als Die Andern

Jez Dolan’s work focuses on queer identity, often using secrecy, hiddenness and codification of language, working with archival material in the creation of new work. He works with a variety of disciplines according to the needs and demands of each project. During an artist residency in early 2017 at the Schwules Museum, Berlin, Jez first watched the film Anders Als die Andern (Different from the Others, 1919).

Despite being made almost a century ago, the film asks for tolerance and understanding for gay men. It is simultaneously a museum piece and a prescient call for acceptance, which might provide useful instruction to many people, including governments who espouse harmful discrimination and officially sanctioned hatred to deadly means.

Watching the film opened up resonances with ideas already under exploration, specifically the eradication and erosion of the rights of queer people in many countries, not least Trump’s USA. Jez had also been thinking about reparative therapy, ‘homosexual cures’ and the torture, imprisonment and murder of queer people currently happening in Chechnya.

For HOME Projects, Jez has begun to investigate film stills, images and text outlining legislation, personal quotes from interviews, and images of ‘homosexual cures’ and other reparative therapy found online. The quality of light and darkness in the film, and others of that period, is also an aesthetic reference point. The specific content and form of the work will emerge during its making.