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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines


It’s one of the most eagerly-awaited art exhibitions of the year and at the centre of the cultural celebrations around the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales. But Tate Britain’s Queer British Art will take an unexpected approach to the subject – and contain several surprises.
Gluck, 1942 Hannah Gluckstein © National Portrait Gallery

At the heart of Tate Britain’s upcoming exhibition about Queer British Art will be a private photo album that was found in a junk shop. When you open it, initially you see lots of photos of military parades, but as you progress the images become increasingly racy – and you realise that it wasn’t a pride in Britain’s armed forces that was motivating the collector.

“That to me is a really evocative object because it’s an anonymous object,” says the exhibition curator, Clare Barlow. ‘We don’t know who took these photos. We know that it was a private erotic project by a man; that’s very obvious from a lot of the images. And we can make a guess at when some of the images were taken from the clothes. But to me the album stands in for a whole culture which is not perhaps represented through surviving material of people finding ways to grapple with their own desires and finding ways to represent and celebrate those desires.’

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