I Dated a Guy in Buchenwald, 2013
Isaac Chong Wai
Buchenwald, Weimar, Germany
Exhibited in Bauhaus Museum in Weimar in “What is the future in the past? And what is the past in the future? - Solo Exhibition of Isaac Chong Wai” in 2016; Museum of Moscow in Moscow Biennale for Young Art 2014 curated by David Elliott
I dated a guy in Buchenwald. We met in Grindr and then decided to visit Buchenwald together. It was the first time that I was there, and it was strange to be in a place where people were imprisoned and executed. While we were walking in the camp, I kissed him, and then I said: ‘People couldn’t do this in the past.’ I asked him to write me something about that day, and he sent me this note:
'I had lost faith in man kind. One day, I decided to go to Buchenwald with this guy and once inside the camp, he kissed me and helped me find the oak tree. Then I knew there was hope for I had just experienced human warmth where I least expected to. – François.’
In this work, I show only the text written by François on paper and, of course, the title of the work. This wasn’t a performative work but a real story of how we dated and kissed in Buchenwald. In the context of the history of this concentration camp, where, amongst many others, gay people were doomed to imprisonment, a kiss somehow gave sweetness as a liberation from the past.