Under Cover: A Secret History Of Cross-Dressers

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The Photographer's Gallery will be putting on an exhibition of work drawn from the personal archives of filmmaker Sebastien Lifshitz.

Lifshitz had a particular fascination with cross-dressing, and as his collection grew he began to trace the commonalities and differences between the images, allowing him to challenge the assumptions we make about gender.

Dating from the late 19th-century onwards, the photographs appear to have been collected from flea markets, junk shops and even eBay, and show unknown people who decided to defy the normal gender conventions. The photographs feature a wide-range of social classes, professions and nationalities -- the only commonality is that they dared to play with dress codes in front of a camera, maybe because they were unable to do so in public.

The highlight of the exhibition is a collection of images of Marie-Pierre Pruvot, a French transsexual who performed under the stage name Bambi, who was the subject of an award-winning documentary by Lifshitz in 2013.

 

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