PREVIEW: The Museum of Transology

Besi Besemar June 20, 2017

This summer Brighton Museum launches Be Bold, a series of collaborative events and exhibitions funded by Arts Council England and programmed in partnership with Brighton & Hove’s LGBT+ communities.

E-J Scott: photo by Sharon Kilgannon at Alonglines Photography
E-J Scott: photo by Sharon Kilgannon at Alonglines Photography

The exhibitions aim to reflect the experiences of the city’s LGBT+ residents, and begin with The Museum of Transology.

The Museum of Transology is a bold, brave and profound collection of artefacts and photographic portraiture that began with donations from Brighton’s vibrant trans community. Now comprising around 150 objects, the crowd-sourced collection is the largest collection representing trans people in the UK – if not the world.

Collector and curator E-J Scott, said: “This is a highly intimate display that challenges the idea that gender is fixed, binary and biologically determined, by exploring how the objects I’ve collected reflect people’s self-determined gender journeys.  It addresses issues including violence against trans people, intersex and non-binary identities, fashion’s shaping of gender identity, medical transition and the spectacularisation of trans peoples’ lives by the mainstream media.

“It has been made possible by those who donated their stories and personal objects, which commonly share themes of hope, ambition and determination.  Most of the display items are accompanied by a handwritten narrative by their donator.”

In a new rendering specifically for Brighton, the display’s layout will reflect a typical domestic sphere before moving into the medicalised realm of the hospital.  Visitors will be invited to leave their own tag describing their personal gender journey.

Free with museum admission, it will also feature:

♦ a slide show of around 100 studio-shot portraits of trans people by Bharat Sikka and Sharon Kilgannon – many of which were taken at Brighton & Hove’s Trans Pride event

♦ behind the scenes footage from the artist film Born Risky by Grayson Perry

My Genderation – films by Fox Fisher who will be attending the preview and Lewis Hancox

♦ Sexing the Transman and Mr Angel – documentaries by adult film star Buck Angel

♦ a focus on Brighton & Hove’s Trans Pride event

♦ a soundtrack featuring music by around 20 trans artists and bands

This display is part of Brighton Museum’s programme to reflect and connect with LGBT+ lives, histories and culture, which includes a new display on 20th century artist Glyn Philpot also opening on July 20.

Event: The Museum of Transology

Where: Spotlight Gallery, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, 12a Pavilion Parade, Brighton BN1 1EE

When: Thursday, July 20 2017 to June 2018