Currently reading : ‘Transformer: Aspects of Travesty’ at the Richard Saltoun Gallery

‘Transformer: Aspects of Travesty’ at the Richard Saltoun Gallery

12 December 2013

Author : reba


His Majesty The Queen, 1973

On the 40th anniversary of ‘Transformer: Aspects of Travesty’ – a groundbreaking show curated by Jean-Christophe Ammann in 1974 – Richard Saltoun Gallery announces a re-proposition of the original exhibition, that will reunite all the artists, in London. This is the first such reunion to commemorate the exhibition which deals with the aesthetics of desire and sexuality through travesty and drag performance and opens tomorrow in London.

The exhibition has considered the politics and aesthetics of drag and transvestism through works by such radical artists as The Cockettes, Andy Warhol, Luciano Castelli, Urs Luthi, Pierre Molinier, Tony Morgan, Andrew Sherwood, Katharina Sieverding, Werner Alex Meyer (alias alex Sibler) and Walter Pfeiffer.

Transformer looks back at the ’70s contemporary society and art practice, considering the aspects of transvestism and sexual self-reflection in art. The exhibition takes its title from the seminal 1972 album by recently deceased Lou Reed, finding its parallel in the worlds of fashion and glam-rock. Transformer examines the politics and aesthetics of transgressing identity and at the disruptive sexualisation of masculinity by incorporating characters usually labelled as ‘feminine’, as Brian Eno reflected with a text written for the original catalogue. The exhibition opened at the Kunstmuseum Lucerne, Switzerland and was an extraordinary cultural event: the opening was recorded by Swiss TV and it toured later to Germany and Austria. Whilst the exhibition received no publicity in the UK, it has been influential for art theory and history, since it was the first occasion that sought to theorise transvestism and which explored non-normative sexualities and the production of identity.

‘Transformer’ is at Richard Saltoun Gallery in London from 13 Dec until 28 Feb. It is curated by Giulia Casalini (b. 1988) and the exhibition will be accompanied by a series of events, including the drag performance group The Cockettes of which details will be announced closer to the time.


Untitled, 1973


Portrait of Luciano Castelli, 1974


Transformer, 1973


You are not the only who is lonely, 1974
Augen bohren Löcher, 1974


Transformer: Aspects of Travesty
13 December 2013 – 28 February 2014

Richard Saltoun Gallery
111 Great Titchfield Street
London W1W 6RY
United Kingdom


Sang Bleu will release details about the exciting upcoming talks once they have been released.

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