Gender Bender
On 2 August, Foam brings together the shared theme of two exhibitions in Gender Bender, an event to mark the occasion of Pride Amsterdam.

ATTENTION: this event is sold out

Drawing on Structures of Identity - Photography from the Walther Collection and the exhibition Y’all better Quiet Down by JeanPaul Paula & Florian Joahn, Gender Bender explores the visual idiom regarding gender identities, with reference to the portraits concurrently on display in the museum. Also, the role that the concept of gender plays in contemporary society will be addressed. The programme features the following speakers:


  • Foam curator Kim Knoppers will discuss the visual idiom regarding gender and identities in the exhibition Structures of Identity, in relationship to contemporary mass media. How are norms endorsed and criticised? How can photographic representations reinforce, undermine or unsettle social stereotypes?
  • Artist duo JeanPaul Paula and Florian Joahn will give an Artist Talk that sheds more light on how the images in the exhibition were created.
  • Independent scholar Tjalling Valdés Olmos will offer an analysis of the (audio-) visual art by Reina Gossett/ Tourmaline (a young queer and transactivist), and the specific political role that she plays in contemporary society where the lives, stories and histories of queers and trans-individuals of colour often go unseen and/or remain unheard.

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Structures of Identity - Photography from The Walther Collection examines how photographers from different periods and cultures used the power of the portrait to either confirm or critically examine stereotypical ideas on status, race, nationality and gender. Part of the exhibition explicitly explores gender identity and shows how photography can contribute to expanding gender identities and to questioning sexual conventions. It demonstrates how photography can help to make representations of gender and sexuality more fluid.

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The exhibition Y’all Better Quiet Down is entirely devoted to gender identity. For this exhibition, Paula and Joahn portrayed (among others) various individuals from the LGBTQ community of São Paulo, whom they styled and then photographed. Each of the models represents their identity in a unique and powerful way, against the background of a country that celebrates the world’s largest Pride festival, but also where the largest number of LGHBTQ individuals is violently killed every year. Besides the portraits of the people in Brazil, the artist duo also made portraits inspired by key figures from the worldwide Pride movement.

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Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Gemeente Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.

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Gender Bender