Rejecting Normal: Curating Queer British Art, 1861-1967 at Tate Britain and Being Human at Wellcome Collection, London

Rejecting Normal: Curating Queer British Art, 1861-1967 at Tate Britain and Being Human at Wellcome Collection, London

Yinka Shonibare, CBE’s, Refugee Astronaut III (2019). Being Human, Wellcome Collection (courtesy of Stephen Pocock/Wellcome Collection)

There have been a number of exhibitions in the last five years that have explored queer themes and adopted queer approaches, yet the position of queer in museums remains precarious. This article explores the challenges of this museological landscape and the transformative potential of queer curating through two projects: Queer British Art, 1861—1967 (Tate Britain, April–September 2017) and Being Human (September 2019–present). Drawing on my experience of curating these projects, I consider their successes and limitations, particularly with regards to intersectionality, and the different ways in which queerness shaped their conceptual frameworks; from queer readings in Queer British Art to the explicit rejection of ‘normal’ in Being Human