Transformer: Aspects of Travesty.

In Events and Exhibitions / January 28, 2014

The London art gallery Richard Saltoun announces the re-proposition of Transformer: Aspects of Travesty, a groundbreaking exhibition curated by Jean-Christophe Ammann in 1974.

The original show opened at Kunstmuseum Lucern and dealt with the aesthetics of desire and sexuality through travesty and drag performance.

In conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the original show the exhibition will reunite all the artists featured that time for the first commemorative event since then.

The exhibition takes its name from the 1972 album by the recently deceased glam-rock star Lou Reed, finding its parallel with regard to the world of fashion and glam rock of the 1970s.

The aim of the exhibition is to explore the ’70s contemporary society and art practice considering the aspects of transvestism and sexual self-reflection in art, as well as to examines the politics and aesthetics of transgressing identity and at the disruption of male sexuality through incorporating characteristics usually labelled as ‘feminine’, as Brian Eno reflected with a text written for the original catalogue.

Katharina Sieverding: Transformer 1 A/B, 1974, C-Print, Acrylic, Steel (2 parts). 190x125 cm each. © The Artist, VG Bild-Kunst. Photo: Klaus Mettig, VG Bild-Kunst. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery.
Katharina Sieverding: Transformer 1 A/B, 1974, C-Print, Acrylic, Steel (2 parts). 190x125 cm each. © The Artist, VG Bild-Kunst. Photo: Klaus Mettig, VG Bild-Kunst. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery.

Original artworks from Lucern will be displayed at Richard Saltoun Gallery, featuring the same sexual explicit contents and including some lesser-known artists.

A series of releated events such as talks, performances and screenings, will accompany the exhibition. Check the website for further innformation about the programme.

The exhibition is curated by Giulia Casalini, collaborator of Richard Saltoun gallery and co-director of CUNTemporary, a non-profit organization promoting feminist and queer art practices and theories.

Transformer Events Programme

Thursday 30 January / THE COCKETTES Elevator Girls In Bondage: Screening

7:00 pm (RSVP)

Elevator Girls in Bondage (1972, 57′ colour, dir. Michael Kalmen), starring The Cockettes members, including Rumi Missabu and Hibiscus (Angel of Light). Introduced by Giulia Casalini.

The underpaid staff of a seedy hotel rise up in revolt when head Elevator Girl Maxine (Rumi) starts a Marxist-Feminist secret association to liberate the girls. Issues of economic and sexual exploitation are raised in this film with a surreal and fun cynicism.

For more information about The Cockettes visit


Thursday 13 February / TRANSFORMER with Jonny Woo

7:00 pm

Tour of the exhibition with drag performer and writer Jonny Woo.

Jonny Woo has been a central figure for reviving the cabaret scene and for taking alternative drag performance to mainstream audiences since 2000. He has performed at the ICA, Bistroteque, Soho Theatre, and in a variety of international festivals, also curating events for MTV, Selfridges and The Royal Opera House.


Thursday 27 February / LIVING THE DREAM

7:00 pm (RSVP)

Gavin Butt explores the Andy Warhol / Paul Morrissey film, Women in Revolt! (1971) in the context of the Transformer exhibition.

Against the backdrop of the film’s comic and politically troublesome treatment of the Women’s Liberation Movement, Butt focuses on the dreams of stardom and social advancement that the film arguably attempts to make real for its transgender players. The film features Andy Warhol superstars and transgender underground legends Candy Darling, Jackie Curtis and Holly Woodlawn.  Gavin Butt is Professor of Visual Cultures and Performance at Goldsmiths University. He explores art and performance practices across high and popular cultures, and within underground and subculture. He is the co-director of the Performance Matters research project and co-director of the film This is Not a Dream (2013).


For info and RSVP e-mail



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