Where Paradise Is

Research action, navigational score, site specific scenography, 2018.

“Tune into the sexual energy that accumulates as your eyes move from title to title. You may find it easier to connect with the library’s sexual register by mouthing or whispering the titles. Seek out a title that makes you curious, one that elicits a sexual charge, one that holds some erotic promise. Take your time.”

Members of Montreal’s queer community were invited to follow a navigational score that guided them through acts of reading, transcribing, and reciting material found in the library of film scholar Thomas Waugh.

The private event was designed to reproduce the sensorium of the nearby Bain Coloniale, a men’s bathhouse that serves as the site of regular outings for Waugh and his community, by providing participants with towels, showers, and changing rooms, and by filling his home with steam.

Participants gathered on Waugh’s roof terrace at the end of the event for an impromptu reading of selected transcribed passages.

The gathering served as research towards the creation of I Don’t Know Where Paradise Is, the audio piece and accompanying exhibition that issued from Nemer’s doctoral studies.