Fashion Space Gallery‘s latest exhibition, Museum of Transology is now open. It hosts the largest collection of trans artefacts and photographs ever to be displayed in the UK, and shows the many realities of modern trans life, whilst also posing a bigger question about the omission of trans lives from larger national museum collections.
From boxes of hormones and a homemade pack and pee, to real post-surgery body parts, the collection and the stories attached to it reflect the vibrancy, courage and increasing confidence of the UK’s trans community. Over 100 objects have been crowd-sourced as a way of enabling trans people to tell their own stories.
Each object is accompanied by a handwritten label describing its importance to the individual’s transition. These real life voices, touching, powerful and provocative, allow the visitor to learn from, question and understand the seemingly mundane everyday objects on display. The collection has been collated at a time that marks a shift in our society’s definition of gender, and has the potential to fill an unrecorded gap in our museums that still use binary gendered archival systems.
Collector and curator E-J Scott says:
The objects people have chosen to donate to the Museum of Transology are strikingly intimate, and make a unique contribution to broader social debates surrounding body politics, gender inequality and the continuing attachment of biological sex to gender despite three waves of feminism. Ultimately, the exhibition is about how every single one of us deserves the freedom to fashion who we want to be. Fashion designers and communicators of the future can – and must – continue to play an increasingly significant role in challenging the constraints of gender stereotypes perpetuated by the industry.
In tune with fashion’s increasing interest with gender-fluidity, the timing of this exhibition also shows the increasing awareness surrounding trans peoples’ lives, exploring the many ways they transform their bodies and reshape their silhouettes to reflect their unique gender identities.
The items on display include Brooklyn tailors Bindle & Keep, renowned for specialising in garments for non-gender conforming clients; LCF graduate Hanni Yang, Yves Saint Laurent & Vivienne Westwood and campaign materials featuring trans model Munroe Bergdorf.
It also includes visuals by fine art photographer Bharat Sikka, the UK’s most prolific social community photographer of the trans community Sharon Kilgannon, award winning My Genderation films by Fox Fisher, Sexing the Transman and Mr Angel documentaries from international FTM adult film star and film director Buck Angel, and behind the scenes footage from the filming of Born Risky by Grayson Perry.
Museum of Transology runs until 22 April 2017 and will be accompanied by a series of events including youth tours, trans awareness workshops, ‘transology’ and ‘transcestory’ debates and a Trans Fashion symposium exploring the links between gender-fluid fashion and the increasing awareness of trans issues, due to be announced later on this month.