Gallery talks — 25 Mar 2023

Join us for a Gallery Talk by Taka Taka and Leo Patra in celebration of Queer History Month. In the heart of the Stedelijk, they will discuss drag, visual arts and The House Of Hopelezz with each other and their guests. How do they find refuge in their self-built house? And how does one shape a young mother-daughter relationship?

Valid museum ticket + €3,-
Audi Gallery, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
25 Mar, 4 pm until 4.30 pm
Main language
objects on a pile: purses, boots, clothes.
Closeup of the installation ‘A House of Hope' Photo: Carl-Johan Paulsen

About the work by Carl-Johan, a.k.a. Leo Patra

A House of Hope is an installation in which garments, purses, shoes and wigs are woven together creating a piece which relates to the safety network that a drag house can be. The work examines the fundamentals of creating a performative yet self-expressive identity. By taking the outfits and objects out of the clubs, the work expands the notions of house, family, queerness and belonging. All garments in the installation have been borrowed from the members of The House Of Hopelezz

Leo Patra, Taka Taka en House of Hopelezz

Carl-Johan Paulsen a.k.a Leo Patra is a Danish 24 year old textile and performance artist studying at Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Carl-Johan has a background in theatre, dance, performance and various musical endeavours which has become a center part of their works. Carl-Johan has a strong curiosity for the research and making of textiles. Through karting, spinning, dyeing and knitting they question the stories that surround us, the bodies we inhabit and the society at large. They joined the House Of Hopelezz in the beginning of 2022 under the caretaking and mothering of Taka Taka.

About Taka Taka

Panagiotis Panagiotakopoulos (GR), a.k.a Taka Taka, is the godmother of the drag House of Hopelezz, sister for others, mother of the drag king House of Løstbois, proud daughter of Jennifer Hopelezz and co-founder of the non-profit Drag King Academy Amsterdam. Taka Taka identifies as a dragtivist, educator, queer theorist and independent curator who produces performances as art director for the Amsterdam‘s sex positive underground night club, Church since 2013.

Drag mothering has become a way of life for me. It is based on values such as collaboration,co-creation, free knowledge sharing, exchange of differentiations, friendship, dressing up and partying strategies for collective growth. I have experience being drag mothered within the specific realm of dragtivism that stands as an infrastructural proposition for underrepresented groups and their intersections. Body(ies) hold stories within them: complex systems of encounters and affects. We form drag houses based on our lived experiences. Drag houses are not meant to create a representative utopian future through social commentary, nor an alternative one. They do not institute a new reality, but our culture does.”

Taka Taka were trained as a professional make-up artist, studied Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie followed by Master in Arts at the Dutch Art Institute. Currently researching drag mothering as an artistic educational model together with DAS support PhD programme THIRD. Taka Taka sees drag as an amplified voice, whose purpose is to communicate, problematize and propose methods according to local conditions. They have shared their knowledge and methodologies for drag mothering, gendered character based practices and its intersections with HIV through interviews, lectures, essays and workshops with various Dutch and international art institutions and art academies. They collaborated annually with SOA/AIDS Nederland, Global Aids Village, and more. As well with their blood line mother Dimitra Panagiotakopoulou who is living in the Greek village Saravali and designing and knitting entire outfits for Taka's lectures and performances.

About the House of Hopelezz

House of Hopelezz is the oldest drag house in The Netherlands initiated by Jennifer Hopelezz in 2003. We use Church and the party BLUE as our headquarters. It is a pluricultural para-family constellation of 35+ active members including transwomen, sex workers, HIV positive bodies, cis gay boys, non-binary people and gender bender performers. Some of our sisters and daughters come from performance and art backgrounds but most have no prior training. This house has produced at least twelve mothers and several other houses. The main focus is on a sex positive reality, HIV prevention and de stigmatization as well queer safety.

  • Taka Taka wearing their mother's Dimitra knitted outfit
    Photo by Dim Balsem for the Drag Queen memory game by BIS Publishers 2020
  • Family portrait with members of the House of Hopelezz and the House of Lostbois
    Photo: Stacey Yates, Art Direction Taka Taka, 2019
  • Taka Taka performing at Athens Biennale 7
    ECLIPSE. 2021 Photo: Nysos Vasilopoulos
  • Mother Jennifer Hopelezz and the House of Hopelezz perfroming at Wende's Kaleidoscope, Royal Theater Carré.
    Photo by Bullet Ray, art direction by Taka Taka, 2019
  • Leo Patra performing at Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen for an upcoming exhibition
    Leo Patra performing at Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen.
Installation view in 'Yesterday Today' Collection.
Installation view in 'Yesterday Today. Collection until 1950'. Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij

About the gallery talks

This year we launch a new series of Gallery Talks which highlights current topics in the collection through the eyes of one of our museum’s experts. On site, in the gallery, you get the chance to immerse yourself in the stories the artworks tell. A conservator or researcher accompanies you and creates time for slow looking and in depth conversations on the topic of the day.


These are the Gallery Talks in 2023. Want to stay in the loop about themes and dates? Sign up for the newsletter .

5 May, Liberation day
Yesterday Today with researcher Frank van Lamoen
In collaboration with Comité 4 en 5 mei

1 July, Keti Koti 

22 July, Queer Amsterdam  
In collaboration with Queer Amsterdam

1 December, World Aids Day

17 december, International Day Against Violence Against Sex Workers

For more info about these editions, check our Dutch webpage