A performance directed by River Lin | Commission Lafayette Anticipations

Conceived by artist River Lin, My Body is a Queer History Museum arises from the following question: How to imagine a queer intervention within the context of an existing structure and exhibit?

This idea is channeled through physical embodiment, as it is part of a performative heritage that seeks to disrupt the modalities and spaces of representation, questioning their various forms of hospitality.

As such, My Body is a Queer History Museum proposes the creation of a temporary museum within an existing exhibit space, using the personal stories and gender politics of a dedicated group of performers. These non-binary life materials relate queer journeys and experiences, reflecting a multiplicity of oblique, deviant identities and ways of seeing the world.

The stories become the live material for happenings that will be presented over two days (durational performances of 4 hours). Choreographed phrases, readings of poetic texts and social manifestos, participatory activities: each initiative is an opportunity for the public to connect with the stories and the context within which they are shared.


If River Lin’s work seems to find its place within artist Xinyi Cheng’s solo exhibit, it is because it resonates with the intimate moments – fleeting and fervent – that the visual artist has captured on canvas. River’s performative gesture is an amplification of Cheng’s sensorial encounters (on fire, in the cold, in water) through the manifestation of their effects on the bodies that traverse and live them.

Thus, the performance of a museum within an exhibit becomes a surprising and inviting opportunity to consider relational narratives (about bodies, affects, wants, and desires). The stories set in motion are glimmers that suddenly appear – like a match lit at night, a spark in the dark.

Concept & choreography: River Lin

Performers: Sherwood Chen, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Calixto Neto, Shihya Peng, Kai Simon Stoeger

Music: Alexandre Bouvier

Curation: Madeleine Planeix-Crocker

Production: Dirk Korell | camin aktion

Photos © Chloé Magdelaine – Lafayette Anticipations

River Lin is a performance artist working across the contexts of visual art, dance and queer culture through making, researching, and curating.

He stages live works in gallery settings as expanded choreography, encounters or situations to speculate notions of heteronormative histories, social engagement and performativity of mediums.

River’s work has been presented by the Centre Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, Lafayette Anticipations, Centre National de la Danse (Paris), KANAL Centre Pompidou (Brussels), ANTI Contemporary Art Festival (Kuopio), Live Art Development Agency (London), M+ Museum (Hong Kong), Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai), Asia Contemporary Art Week (New York/Dubai), Serendipity Arts Festival (Goa), 2016 Taipei Biennial, Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab, Tokyo Real Underground Festival, and Liveworks Festival (Sydney) among others.

He curates international events and festivals such as Asia Discovers Asia Meeting for Contemporary Performance (ADAM), Musée de la danse in Taipei, and Camping Asia in collaboration with Centre National de la Danse. He will be co-curating Bleed Biennial in Australia, the Indonesia Dance Festival, and the festival Non-fungible Body for Upper-Austria State Museums in Linz in 2022.


Saturday 21 May 2022 from 14:00 to 18:00

Sunday 22 May 2022 from 14:00 to 18:00

Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation Galeries Lafayette

9, rue du Plâtre | 75004 Paris