As part of the exhibition Step Out of the Strange Light, the Neue Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) will show Padraig Robinson’s film Masquerades of Research: Part I, as well as a conversation between David P. Keys (author and professor of criminal justice, New Mexico State University) and the artist.
Padraig Robinson’s film was made during his residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude, where he was a fellow in the »Visual Arts« field of practice from September 2019 to March 2020.vMasquerades of Research: Part I is a dialogic character study exploring the broader social impetus of Laud Humphreys’ infamous 1968 dissertation in Sociology, Tearoom Trade. The study was based on observations made in public restrooms in St. Louis, colloquially called »tearooms,« where homosexual men of different socioeconomic classes engaged in sexual contact. With his controversial research methods, in which he observed sexual acts as a voyeur, or so-called watchqueen, and conducted interviews, Humphreys deliberately broke with the ethical protocols of science. Robinson explores Humphrey’s intentions and the context of his research as well as the personal and professional impact of the study on Humphrey’s career. The conversation between Robinson and David P. Keys, who has researched Humphreys’ work, negotiates the progressive and controversial aspects of Tearoom Trade in light of contemporary surveillance technologies and changing connotations of »private« and »public.«
The film and conversation are available for viewing on the n.b.k. website through May 9.