Opening: Vaginal Davis, HOFPFISTEREI

17 May 2024, 15:30–19:00

Vaginal Davis, Rhythm to the Masses. Image credit: Albin Dahlström for Moderna Museet Stockholm
Vaginal Davis, Rhythm to the Masses. Image credit: Albin Dahlström for Moderna Museet Stockholm

Welcome to the opening of Vaginal Davis: HOFPFISTEREI!

The doors open at 15:30 and the opening continues until 19:00. This is to allow visitors to join us and then continue for the opening of Vaginal Davis: Magnificent Product at Moderna Museet. Warmly welcome!

With the exhibition HOFPFISTEREI, Index, in close collaboration with Moderna Museet, highlights Vaginal Davis as a writer – presenting a library of text material produced between the 1980s and the present day. The body of work of performance artist, writer, and icon Vaginal Davis chronicles Black queer existence with absurd humor and cutting precision. Her practice comprises performance, text, painting, installation, fanzines and films. Ms. Davis shapeshifts with assurance while moving from scene to scene, changing position and mode of address, to ensure her audience is always uncomfortable; never allowed to grow complacent.

The title of the exhibition hints at one of Vaginal Davis’s key methodologies. Attracted to the word and its sound after noticing it on a number of shops in Germany – “Hofpfisterei” is the name of a German bakery chain – Ms. Davis takes it and appropriates it for another use and context. As the title of this exhibition, the word becomes an act of performative naming and a conceptual placeholder for a working space, a production and presentation site, a possibility of invention embracing joyful irreverence.

Vaginal Davis’s agile leaps between downtown nightlife, academy lectures and gallery settings are mirrored in her equally kaleidoscopic writing. The exhibition at Index features a multitude of genres – from poetry to long format journalism to falsified confessional literature and tabloid rag gossip columns.

This exhibition has been developed in collaboration with Moderna Museet in Stockholm, as part of the exhibition Vaginal Davis: Magnificent Product. The museum presents a major retrospective of Vaginal Davis’s work while, in parallel, Index is the locus for research on her text production. Vaginal Davis’s solo exhibition Magnificent Product is initiated by Moderna Museet and extends across several locations in Stockholm: Moderna Museet, Nationalmuseum, Accelerator, Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Tensta konsthall and MDT (Moderna Dansteatern). Each institution highlights a different aspect of Vaginal Davis’s expansive practice.

Read more about the exhibition here.