Kiss My Genders
This summer, Hayward Gallery presents the epic ‘Kiss My Genders’, an exhibition celebrating gender fluidity and the human body. Spanning the past 50 years, the show features 30 international artists and 100 pieces of artwork and explores non-binary, trans and intersex identities across painting, installation, sculpture, photography and film, challenging accepted notions of beauty and sexuality.
Exhibiting artists include filmmaker, actor and writer Amrou Al-Kadhi, who describes themselves as a ‘professional unicorn’ and ‘non-binary Brit’ as well as American artist, DJ and performer, Juliana Huxtable. Brooklyn-based performance artist Martine Gutierrez, who characterises identity as something ‘alien or unfamiliar’ in her ambitious photographic series Masking and Demons & Amrou Al-Kadhi, a British-Iraqi writer, drag performer and filmmaker, who has collaborated with British photographer Holly Falconer to create a photographic portrait Glamrou using triple exposure to communicate the experience of being a person of Muslim heritage in drag.
Although full of both colour and celebration, Kiss My Genders doesn’t shy away from harsh reality. Hunter Reynold’s Memorial dress (1993) is a black ball gown printed with the names of 25,000 people known to have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Zanele Muholi’s uncompromising photography explores the violence suffered by South Africa’s lesbian and transgender communities.
It’s a wonderful celebration that welcomes both the brilliant differences and the rich variety of genders that co-exist within our society.