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Natural History Museum Basel - SEXY - The driving force of life 10.11.2023 - 12.5.2024


The word "sexy" has a musical quality. Perhaps because you hear it so rarely and when you do, it's only sung. Which song comes to mind first when you hear the word "sexy"? Is it the "sexy eyes"? Or Rod Steward's question as to whether people think he is "sexy"? In the end, is it Marius Müller Westernhagen's shouted "sexy", which, to make matters worse
is simply a form of address for a woman who is a weapon for which there is no licence? In my head, Beyonce's "I'm feeeeeeeling seeeeeeexxxxxyyyyyy.... I wanna hear you call my name" from "Naughty Girl". A song that can be sung more lasciviously with each passing hour of the evening.
Now the Natural History Museum Basel is very sexy for its current exhibition. And that is to be taken quite literally. The exhibition displays are excellent and of high quality, the specimens strike the right balance between creepy and cute and, above all, the fact that almost everything that can't split in two has some. The exhibition is informative and entertaining and you learn a lot of new things, even if you think you know a lot about sex. I didn't realise, for example, that gay dolphins actually penetrate their partner's blowhole. But through a small peephole in the exhibition display, high enough so that the children can't reach it, there is even a picture of this very act hidden in the sexy exhibition. You never stop learning.
Since I've already started with music, I'd like to make another musical reference. Above the entrance on the second floor of the museum, just behind the giraffe in the stairwell, hang silver balloons that spell out the word "sexy". Behind them in the long hall, all you can see from the outside is the bony skeleton of a giant sea creature (whose species and genus have slipped my mind due to its sexiness). A creature that strips itself to the bone for the right sexiness is already known musically. In "Rock DJ" from the year 2000, a stripping Robbie Williams tried to impress a pack of roller-skating ladies. But they were not impressed by his hairy chest or his tiger head briefs. Only when Robbie tore the flesh from his carcass did he get the attention he wanted (art imitates life). And so perhaps we are all super sexy skeletons after all, walking around with a bit of meat wrapping looking for a tantalising blowhole.

Q.U.I.C.H.E. are semi-monthly thoughts about cultural moments in Basel and the surrounding area. Formulated by a loosely organised collective of queer people who dance in the haze of Basel's cultural scene.