Following swiftly on from the Science Museum’s winter exhibition on Anxiety, its latest exhibition, opened before the coronavirus crisis, focuses on the issue of Gender, a subject which, like Climate Change, has taken a back seat during the current crisis, but will re-emerge once things return to some semblance of normality. Anxiety and Gender often go hand in hand, so it was appropriate that one followed the other, for the two are often interconnected.
In ‘Genders – Shaping and Breaking the Binary’, artists invited visitors to reflect and interact and examine their own experiences around the complex issue of gender, which goes beyond the simple two characteristics of male and female, but into issues of love, relationships, culture, nationality, language, law and prejudice, with links to emerging research at the university and also to an unknown art collection, the Birth Rites Collection 0f contemporary art focused on childbirth at the Department of Midwifery of King’s College London.
Perhaps particularly relevant in the current pandemic are Rotimi Fani-Kayode’s works, mostly created in Brixton in London between 1982 and 1989, which was a period of political tensions linked in particular to race and poverty after a previous recession – the Brixton Riots took place in 1981 – but also to the AIDS crisis, a previous ‘plague’ which is now managed as a long term health condition no worse than diabetes, while Brixton itself is now a successful multi-cultural and multi-gender area. So there is hope!