These Goddamn Boys All Stealing, 2008

Transfer prints with ink, wax, and acrylic on paper on canvas; 150 × 150 cm. © Photo: Uwe Walther 2010

In her forays through Berlin, Kaabi-Linke came across the image of a penis until recently scratched into the wall of a now empty basement area in an apartment building at Zossener Straße 7 in the Kreuzberg district. With some research on her part, she learned that in the Weimar period, a bar for homosexuals was located precisely at this site. In Christopher Isherwood’s memoir Christopher and his kind (1977), the author vividly describes the activities in the bar, called Cosy Corner. Isherwood experienced his coming-out here, and discovered a language for his sexuality. In These goddamned boys all stealing (Zossener 7), Kaabi-Linke has transferred the penis-image scratched into the cellar-wall into a new arrangement: a squadron of penises. This formation also cites the bullet-holes in Am Hegelplatz. It thus recalls the rise of Nazism to power, which forced Isherwood, among others, to leave Berlin. When the artist revisited the site at one point afterwards, the penis had vanished in another irrevocable burying of the past. Like many other traces of history, it has been preserved in the work of Nadia Kaabi-Linke.

— Falko Schmieder
In: Adeli, J. M.: Nadia Kaabi-Linke: Tatort, Bielefeld 2010, p. 60.
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