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Look Again: Gender

Look Again: Gender

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This book is a polyphonic portrait of the representation of gender in art, from acclaimed playwright and artist, Travis Alabanza. Part of the Tate Britain: Look Again series of books exploring the National Collection of British Art, Alabanza offers a revelatory new perspective on the ways that art and gender have interacted through the ages, taking us into the drama that always follows gender, and the drama that always follows art.

Gender is performance. Think of the acts of drama that go hand-in-hand with our experience of gender: a man spreading his legs on a tube; a woman showing biceps in a boiler suit saying, ‘We Can Do it!’; a stiletto heel stepping on a briefcase. It seems wherever gender goes, there follows a show of what it might be trying to say. Art is also wrapped up in performance. We see a piece of art as a still of a performance in motion, a moment of drama, a snapshot, a glimpse into a spectacle – it captures a breath to be immortalised. Through a number of well known works from the national collection of art, we discover who is really putting on a show, and what they are trying to tell us.