Comprising over 160 amateur photographs, the exhibition Mauvais Genre/Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross-Dressers at the Ryerson Image Centre Gallery explores a range of practices relating to cross-dressing from the 1880s to the 1980s. It is drawn from the extensive personal archives of French filmmaker and photography collector Sébastien Lifshitz, who will discuss the collection and exhibition in an online talk.

The selection presented in the exhibition includes images of spectacular cross-dressers and glamorous drag queens, but also individuals whose transgressive actions are much more discreet and domestic. The photographs have been collected from flea markets, garage sales, junk shops and eBay and were taken in Europe and the United States. Mauvais Genre offers a candid look into the hidden worlds of individuals and groups that have chosen to defy gender conventions and explore a range of identities and presentations that diverge from what society has restrictively prescribed, celebrating the collective inventiveness and freedom that the seemingly simple act of dressing differently provides, celebrating self-expression and the diversity of queer and trans spectrum.

Curated by Sébastien Lifshitz

*This will be an online presentation.*

Produced by the Rencontres d’Arles. Presented by the Ryerson Image Centre in partnership with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival