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(Un)Defining Queer

27 January – 3 December 2023

(Un)Defining Queer

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.

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.

As part of the exhibition, visitors will be invited to contribute to the development of our 'Queer Glossary', which will be used to give representation and visibility to members of the LGBTQIA+ community within our collection.

In proud partnership with the LGBT Foundation.


Permissible Beauty film screening with Q&A
Thursday 2 November 2023 6-9pm
Whose lives are celebrated in our national story and whose are overlooked?
Why are some forms of beauty more permissible, and more highly valued, than others? How might we start a new chapter of British beauty?
Please book your free ticket via Eventbrite

Exhibition Guided Tours
Tours run until December 2023
Please book your FREE place on Eventbrite, click here for all gallery event details.
Join us for a guided tour of the (Un)Defining Queer exhibition. Hosted by the Whitworth’s Visitor Team, these guided tours give further insight into the artworks on display, which includes photography, drawings, wallpapers, print, video, mixed-media art, and more.

Upcoming Guided Tour dates:
(Un)Defining Queer Tours with members of the gallery's Visitor Team.
Click here to book and reserve your spot.

Queer Theory Reading Group
March to November 2023
Open to all who have an interest in exploring, discussing, digesting, and critiquing queer theory.
Please book your FREE place on Eventbrite, click this link for full details.

The Grey Area Writing Group & Book Club
The Grey Area is a monthly event for trans and queer writers and book lovers. Events take place in person, in the Office Arté Util space at the Whitworth.
Please book your FREE place on Eventbrite, click this link for full details.

Monica Pearl's Queer Salon
April to December 2023
Monthly discussions are held at the gallery, around particular questions in queer culture.
Please book your FREE place on Eventbrite, click this link for full details.

Details of future tour dates will be posted closer to the time.

27 January – 3 December 2023


Shop the (Un)Defining Queer Collection

The Whitworth Shop is now online – click here to discover our product collection inspired by the brand new exhibition at the Whitworth – (Un)defining Queer).

Image: Ajamu X, Bud Kim, 2018 © the artist, Ajamu Studio