The Off-Temple
Santarcangelo Festival
Season 4  

We, Bebe books, question if there can be a queer temple. As Sarah Ahmed wrote, “Space is not a container for the body: it does not contain the body as if the body were ‘in it’/ Rather bodies are submerged, such that they become the space that they inhabit.” If we suppose a temple for queer bodies, its shape and function must have been formed by the queer bodies that it encompasses, while it will queer those bodies spontaneously. We decided to call this the Off-temple: A temple that is not aligned. During Santarcangelo Festival , we will construct a prototype of the Off-temple using our queer bodies as a form of collective and hands-on speculation for ten days.

The construction of Off-temple is the practice of the commons, involving uncountable queer hands stacking bricks, making embroideries, holding one another, and performing rituals. We anticipate the Off-temple to be a carrier bag built at an architectural scale. Through the porous brick wall, it will sense global precarity and absorb queer bodies and their vulnerable stories. The Off-temple will be soon filled with their emotions, relations, and interactions, and will let stories emerge. We will gather the crumbles of the queer history articulated in ambiguous and fragmented languages, sew their edges together, and create a patchwork. The Off-temple will become a symbol of this formation and narration of history while resisting the temptation for scale and spectacle.

Concept by Bebe Books
Structure design and construction
by Every Island 
Costume Design by Mark van Hoek

This project was generously supported by Viernulvier Gent and the Flemish Government Department of Culture

©Bebe Books