Alida Cervantes • Emanuel de Carvalho • Romeo Roxman Gatt • Celia Hempton • Michael and Chiyan Ho • George Henry Longly • Hamed Maiye • Rene Matić • Glen Pudvine • Prem Sahib • Wilfrid Wood
Toxic, in crisis; innate, constructed; stunted, changing; fragile, hopeful.
The House of St Barnabas presents ‘Virile’, a group show unfolding across its hallway, Soho and Dickens Rooms and first-floor landing. Curated by Helen Neven and Will Ballantyne-Reid on behalf of The Collective, the exhibition explores depictions of the male subject through the work of twelve contemporary artists.
‘Virile’ takes as its starting point the House’s geographical situation in the heart of Soho; a stomping ground for historically transgressive and transformatory models of the masculine – from Oscar Wilde’s Dilly Boys cruising under the spotlight of Piccadilly’s Eros statue and the genderqueer club kids of Taboo, to the hustlers, bankers and gangsters scuttling under the cover of darkness on Old Compton Street. Today, the idea of masculinity has never been in such flux or under more scrutiny. Simultaneously, we bear witness to a radical redefinition of what masculinity can be, as once-immutably binary notions of gender are re- thought, re-imagined, and re-claimed. From subversions of the traditional male portraiture that would have historically hung in the House, to assessments of clothing, commodity goods and stereotype, ‘Virile’ seeks to question and offer a multiplicity of perspectives on the male subject, the masculine symbolic, its performance and its potential.
Artworks are available for purchase. 25% of proceeds go straight to the House’s Employment Academy, which helps break the cycle of homelessness.
Non-members can visit the show by appointment. Please contact Susie Stirling [email protected] for appointments, tours and further information.