We mourn the loss of our beloved friend and Vice President of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art Board of Trustees, Margaret Rose Vendryes, Ph.D.

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Schreber is a Woman. Still frame, 2020. Courtesy of El Palomar.

El Palomar: Schreber is a Woman

Jul 15 - Aug 14, 2022

Schreber is a Woman, a video installation by the Spanish artist collective El Palomar (Mariokissme and R. Marcos Mota), is a meditation on queer and trans history through the figure of Daniel Paul Schreber (1842–1911), a German judge committed to a psychiatric institution in 1894. While in confinement, Schreber experienced visions and heard voices as he reflected on cosmology, sexuality, religion, and a consuming desire for gender transformation, believing it to be divinely orchestrated.

Through performance, set construction, and an electronic, dance-inflected soundtrack, El Palomar presents a contemporary envisioning of Schreber’s rich inner world from a transfeminist perspective. Bodies kaleidoscopically morph, double, and mirror one another in a parodic deconstruction of Freudian interpretations and the gender binaries upon which they rest. Excerpts from Schreber’s book Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (1903) are narrated throughout the piece and invoked in lyrics (one song repeats “No estoy loca,” a cry of resistance against the pathologizing narratives of the clinic which still resonate today). Made during the social isolation of the early Covid-19 pandemic, the installation recuperates, for our present moment, the historic struggles for bodily autonomy, self-determination, and joy.