20 May – 7 August 2022
Organised by trans and non-binary curators this exhibition explores the idea of chosen families in response to the oppression faced by LGBTQAI+ communities.
The exhibition brings together archive materials from the Museum of Transology, works by queer artists, and makers Cassils, Cosmic Constructions, Tolu Elusadé, Rachael House, and Bernice Mulenga in dialogue with artworks by Matthew Barney, Candida Höfer, Vibeke Tandberg, and Francesca Woodman selected from the Christen Sveaas Collection.
‘We get to choose our families’ is a sentiment often used to soothe the pain of those who have been othered by their family of origin or by society because of their identity or sexuality. It is also a rallying cry to keep open minds and hearts – to celebrate the importance of friendship, of those around us who provide support, of those who care for us and for others, and of love between people in whatever form it may take.
This exhibition is a chosen family in its own right: a thoughtful selection of portraits, video, objects and stories drawn from different origins, backgrounds and experiences, set against a backdrop of queer domesticity.
You are invited to sit by our specially created fireplace and read from books, and resources for all ages by and about LGBTQAI+ experiences, make contributions to our growing installation of badges and spend time reflecting on the stories, dialogues and social and political narratives that play out across the display.
Curated in collaboration by Pacheanne Anderson, Helen Davison, Ansh Meeta, and E-J Scott. With thanks to the Museum of Transology, Bishopsgate Institute, Christen Sveaas Art Foundation, and Portugal Prints.
The Museum of Transology (MoT) is the UK’s most significant collection of objects representing trans, non-binary and intersex people’s lives. Each object donated to the Museum of Transology has a brown swing tag attached to it, with a hand written message explaining its significance to the owner. This means both the story and the object are archived as two parts of a whole, never to be erased or overwritten. This is a deliberate strategy to ensure the experiences surrounding trans, non-binary, and intersex people’s everyday lives are recorded in their own words, forever.
The collection currently consists of over 1000 artefacts from around the UK.