‘Cruising’ describes the quest for sex by homosexual men in public spaces. It is an urban pursuit taking place in parks, public toilets and car parks, as well as in dedicated establishments such as sex clubs and bathhouses. But cruising cannot be reduced to neither men nor gays, nor to any definite location. The historical model of cruising is evolving.
Presenting the many facets of cruising culture through the work of international architects, designers and artists, Cruising Pavilion explores a sexual and spatial practice that spans historical and contemporary culture. The combination of digital hook-up apps, urban development, and the commodification of LGTBQ (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual and Queer) cultures means that traditional cruising grounds are continually adapting. Geospatial technologies have generated a psychosexual geography that spreads across digitally-connected homes and profiles.
The exhibition presents cruising as the producer of a non-hetero architecture that closely mirrors the patriarchal nature of the built environment. Cruising is at once revealed as a resistance, an avant-garde and a vernacular, with an active relevance in and beyond LGTBQ+ circles.
Cruising Pavilion at ArkDes is the culmination of two years of research. Previous exhibitions of the project in Venice, Italy (Spazio Punch), and New York City, USA (Ludlow38), have explored the different directions by which cruising practices have evolved. In this third and final edition, Cruising Pavilion focuses on the intersection of sexuality and the architecture of the city.