The Photographer’s Gallery delves in the secret history of cross-dressers

Drawn from the personal archives of filmmaker and photography collector Sébastien Lifshitz, The Photographer’s Gallery will present an exhibition entitled Under Cover: A Secret History Of Cross – Dressers – a collection of amatuer photographs from across Europe and the US that explore the practice of cross-dressing, through a century of private photography.

Dated from 1880 through to the present day, most of the extensive collection feature unnamed and unknown figures – the majority of images having been collected from flea markets, garage sales, junk shops and even ebay. Each offer an intimate, candid view into the secret worlds of individuals and groups that chose to subvert gender conventions.

The exhibition includes unique Marie-Pierre Pruvot (born Jean-Pierre Pruvot, 11 November 1935) the renowned Algerian-born French transsexual woman who performed under the stage name Bambi, and who was the subject of an award-winning documentary by Lifshitz in 2013.

These photographs depict a range of styles and attitudes within the cross-dressing community from the theatrical through to the understated, portraying people from different classes, professions and nationalities. The exhibition seeks to celebrate inventiveness and freedom with an insight into the trans-spectrum that was explored long before today’s much celebrated displays of self-expression.

From February 23rd – June 3rd 2018.

thephotographersgallery.org.uk