O—Overgaden is one of the leading non-profit art institutions in Denmark with an irreverent program of emerging local and international voices in contemporary art, displaying around eight grand-scale exhibitions each year from its position in the heart of Copenhagen.
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Zoltan Ará, Cassie Augusta Jørgensen, Filip Berg, Karim Boumjimar, Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Nicolas Maxim Endlicher, Brendan Fernandes, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Carlos Motta, Niels Nedergaard, Maria Thastum, Maria Wæhrens: Psychopathia Sexualis
14 Aug – 10 Oct 2021

Psychopathia Sexualis, installation view, O–Overgaden, 2021. Photo by Anders Sune Berg.
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With the exhibition Psychopathia Sexualis, Overgaden brings the important political work on diversity, respect, and recognition into focus. The project’s podcast collaboration, statement T-shirts, and exhibition of art, campaigns, activism, and cabaret from 1981 until today thematize the pathologization of sexualities, and initiate a new Danish LGBTQIA+ art history.

Psychopathia Sexualis is a prismatic exhibition project exploring the question of (psycho)pathologized sexualities with particular attention to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and its muted histories from the media to fine arts, from cabaret to activism, in Denmark and beyond.

The exhibition—which also includes a podcast produced in collaboration with The Lake Radio and HEN, a t-shirt line co-created with Filip Berg and Han Kjøbenhavn—hijacks its title from the 1886 medical forensic study Psychopathia Sexualis, one of the first books on psychopathology and sexuality by Austrian psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing.

Psychopathia Sexualis, installation view, O–Overgaden, 2021. Photo by Anders Sune Berg.

Background of the exhibition, and a central question

The year 1981 plays a central part in the exhibition. In 2021 it is 40 years since homosexuality was removed from the list of psychiatric disorders in Denmark.* It has also been 40 years since the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) published an article in its weekly journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly about a rare lung disease detected in five otherwise well, homosexual men in Los Angeles—what was later known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).

The exhibition project Psychopathia Sexualis takes these two historical events from 1981 as its starting points and examines the psychopathologization of gender, sex, and sexualities by asking the fundamental question: where is the Danish art history that deals with HIV and AIDS?

Artists: Zoltan Ará, Filip Berg, Karim Boumjimar, Elmgreen & Dragset, Nicolas Maxim Endlicher, Brendan Fernandes, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Cassie Augusta Jørgensen, Carlos Motta, Niels Nedergaard, Maria Thastum, Maria Wæhrens, and more.

The exhibition is curated by Mathias Kryger in collaboration with O—Overgaden and is a part of Copenhagen21—EuroGames & WorldPride.
The exhibition is supported by Knud Højgaard’s Fond and the Danish Arts Foundation.

Psychopathia Sexualis, installation view, O–Overgaden, 2021. Photo by Anders Sune Berg.
Psychopathia Sexualis, installation view, O–Overgaden, 2021. Photo by Anders Sune Berg.
Psychopathia Sexualis, installation view, O–Overgaden, 2021. Photo by Anders Sune Berg.
Psychopathia Sexualis, installation view, O–Overgaden, 2021. Photo by Anders Sune Berg.
Psychopathia Sexualis, installation view, O–Overgaden, 2021. Photo by Anders Sune Berg.