Bring Your Own Body: transgender between archives and aesthetics

December 10, 2015 - February  13, 2016

Reception: December 10, 5-8pm

Bring Your Own Body presents the work of transgender artists and archives, from the institutional to the personal. Taking its title from an unpublished manuscript by intersex pioneer Lynn Harris, the exhibit historicizes the sexological and cultural imaginary of transgender through a curatorial exploration of historical collections, including the Kinsey Archives. Bring Your Own Body presents contemporary transgender art and world making practices that contest existing archival narratives in favor of new historical genealogies. Moving beyond the aesthetically defunct category of “identity politics” and the fraught gains of visibility, the artworks propose transgender as a set of aesthetics made manifest through multiple forms: paint, sculpture, textiles, film, digital collage, and performance.

Sexological and diagnostic histories of the clinic and the case study still reverberate in the foreclosure of transgender subjectivity. Bring Your Own Body interrogates the archive’s often violent capture of identity, mining the visual data of “transvestite” photography collected by Alfred Kinsey (1946—) and police records of transgender women of color imprisoned in the 1960s for sex work and female impersonation. Contemporary works animate the archive in their negotiation of inherited representations of transgender. Transgender is neither new nor finished, despite recent and unprecedented visibility in popular media. Bring Your Own Body presents a set of archival and aesthetic relations critical to our continued understanding of a richly textured transgender landscape.

Artists include: niv Acosta, Mark Aguhar, Effy Beth, Justin Vivian Bond, Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz, Vaginal Davis, Zackary Drucker, Chloe Dzubilo, Reina Gossett & Sasha Wortzel, Juliana Huxtable, Greer Lankton, Amos Mac, Pierre Molinier, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Flawless Sabrina, Buzz Slutzky, and Chris Vargas and the Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art.

Curated by: Jeanne Vaccaro and Stamatina Gregory


Accompanying programming is presented in conjunction with the current Glass Curtain Gallery exhibition, Bring Your Own Body, transgender between archives and aesthetics. Please click here for full list of programming.

Published reviews

Kate Sierzputowski's review published by the Chicago Reader, Transgener artists control their own narrative at Glass Curtain's Bring Your Own Body

Lori Waxman' review published by the Chicago Tribune, She, He, They, Hir: Transgender art and artists at Columbia College 

Vasia Rigou's review of published by New City, here

Evin Bell's review published by the Columbia Chronicle, Transgender artists find safe space at Columbia

Exhibition Contact: Mark Porter / / 312-369-6643