(Un)Defining Queer — exhibition

This exhibition delves into the Whitworth’s collection to examine how we can use a queer lens to define what the term ‘queer’ means.

Presenting collection works that have never been on display before as well as loans, the exhibition includes artists such as: Ajamu X, Niki de Saint Phalle, General Idea, David Hockney, Maggie Hambling, Pearl Alcock, Keith Vaughan, Matthew Bamber, Sarah-Joy Ford, Wolfgang Tillmans, Chester Tenneson and Jez Dolan.

(Un)Defining Queer is co-curated by Project Producer Dominic Bilton, a Postgraduate Researcher based within the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.

The theoretical underpinning of the exhibition was developed through Dominic’s PhD research in close collaboration with the Whitworth, as part of the Queering the Whitworth project.

Co-led by an intersectional group of people who self-identify as LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, and asexual), the project sets out to interrogate language, histories, and narratives within the Whitworth’s practice and collections. More specifically, the project and exhibition seek to redress historic omissions that have existed as a result of heteronormative museum practice.

Visitors will be invited to contribute to the development of a ‘Queer Glossary’, which will be used to give representation and visibility to members of the LGBTQIA+ community within the collection.

An engagement programme of queer artist talks, films and performances also accompanies the exhibition.

See the Whitworth’s website for full details about the (Un)Defining Queer exhibition.


The Whitworth,
The University of Manchester,
Oxford Road,
M15 6ER.


Ajamu X, Bud Kim, 2018 © the artist, Ajamu Studio.