Bring Your Own Body: transgender between archives and aesthetics, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery’s latest exhibition, was unveiled with an opening reception and talk by its curators Stamatina Gregory and Jeanne Vaccaro on Friday night. The co-curators led a large crowd of attendees through the eye-catching array of paintings, photography, and sculptures that drew from sources including the archives of sexologist Alfred Kinsey, the Transgender Archives at the University of Victoria, and contemporary work by transgender artists.
“We can really think of the gallery as a classroom and a laboratory,” said Vaccaro, who earned her Ph.D. in performance studies from New York University and is currently a visiting assistant professor at Haverford. The exhibition, borrowing from a complex history of archival materials supplemented by vibrant modern art, aims at once to emphasize the subjectivity and malleability of archives, and to present different ways in which “trans” can be defined.
Gregory, a doctoral candidate at the City University of New York, professor of art history, critical theory and writing, and associate dean at the Cooper Union, invited guests to “bring your own body to the archive,” and consider the way in which “transgender” is imagined.
Within the coming weeks, events in and around campus will supplement the exhibition and its themes. Up next is Queer Genealogies of the Normal, a conversation about politics surrounding archival research, public display, historical reenactment, and curation that will take place Oct. 27 and 28 at Haverford and International House Philadelphia. That multi-part event will also include a curator-led tour of the exhibit, two panel discussions (“Deviant Histories of Gender and Sexuality” and “Artists, Archives, and Legacies of Feminism”), a screening of The Queen, a keynote talk by Princeton University Professor Regina Kunzel.
Bring Your Own Body is on display through Dec. 11, in the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery.
-Michael Weber ’19
Photos by Leigh Taylor.