Queer British Art at Tate Britain

Tate Britain’s landmark exhibition Queer British Art 1861–1967 explored how artists expressed themselves in a time when established assumptions about gender and sexuality were being questioned and transformed. The exhibition marked the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England.

To explore the dynamism, creativity and politics of queer culture in Britain past and present, Public Programmes at Tate Britain organised a range of live events involving contemporary artists and cultural producers including author and theatre-maker Neil Bartlett. Tate worked with LADA to present Neil’s performance A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep (which is available to watch online from 17 August - 17 October 2017). First performed in 1987, this one-man show reveals the complexity of being a gay man during the 1980s set alongside the writings and live story of artist Simeon Solomon during the late 19th C. The performance took place in the 1840s gallery at Tate Britain alongside a softly lit Solomon work and members of the Solomon family in the audience. The evening brought to life the tragedy and loss experienced by so many in recent decades and marked developments in queer culture. Many who attended had seen the original performance in a south London warehouse and seeing it 30 years on was a profound experience.

To celebrate the powerful role of the LGBTQ+ community in arts and culture, the Queer & Now festival invited people of all ages and identities to join in a host of live performances, talks, music, film and dance from artists rooted in the UK's queer community. Taking over the whole of Tate Britain Queer & Now, in association with Pride in London, included music and lip syncing with artist Paul Maheke and musician Cédric Fauq, voguing with Jay Jay Revlon, dance to DJ sets from Sink the Pink and DJ Ritu and a special selection of rarely seen films and documentaries from the BFI national archive. A host of LGBTQ+ speakers took part in discussions, craft stalls from Etsy and Bar Wotever’s Queer Fayre, local food, music, and dancing. 

Categories: Report

Date Posted: 29 September 2017