This summer, Kiss My Genders is a group exhibition that celebrates more than 30 international artists whose work challenges fixed and binary identities.
Spanning the past five decades, the show at Hayward Gallery brings together over 100 artworks by different generations of creatives who employ various approaches but share a common interest in exploring gender fluidity, as well as non-binary, trans and intersex identities.
From installation and video to painting, sculpture and wall drawings, the exhibition places a particular emphasis on works that revisit the tradition of photographic portraiture. A number of artists in the exhibition treat the body itself as sculpture, and in doing so open up new possibilities for gender, beauty and representations of the human form.
Kiss My Genders also plays host to artists who explore gender expression through performance, drag and masquerade. These include Ajamu, a London-based visual activist whose work challenges conventional understanding of sexuality, desire, pleasure and cultural production within contemporary Britain and Brooklyn-based performance artist Martine Gutierrez, who characterises identity as something "alien or unfamiliar" in her ambitious photographic series Masking and Demons (both 2018).
There's also Amrou Al-Kadhi, a British-Iraqi writer, drag performer and filmmaker, who in collaboration with British photographer Holly Falconer, created a photographic portrait Glamrou (2016) using triple exposure to communicate the experience of being in drag as a person of Muslim heritage.
The exhibition’s title is taken from the song ‘Transome’ by Bolton-born, Berlin-based singer-songwriter, Planningtorock, who will also perform as part of the exhibition’s public programme. Kiss My Genders at Hayward Gallery runs until 8 September 2019.