Ken. To Be Destroyed

User-added image

17 Feb - 24 Mar 2017

11am to 7pm

Ken. To be destroyed

Private View and book signing: Thursday 16 February 6-9pm (use booking form below)

Exhibition open: Friday 17 February – Friday 24 March (Monday – Friday, 11am-7pm)
Weekend opening: Saturday 25 Feb, 11am-4pm
Venue: Upper Gallery, London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle, London SE1 6SB

Tour: Tuesday 14 March, 12.30-1.30pm. Book here
London College of Communication (LCC) presents Ken. To be destroyed as part of its public programme of events and exhibitions. The exhibition, which is part of the Moose on the Loose Biennale of Research, will run Friday 17 February – Saturday 26 March 2017, and will be accompanied by a series of events, talks and workshops.
The exhibition by Sara Davidmann showcases work that combines original archive material with Davidmann’s new work, curated by University of the Arts London (UAL) Professor Val Williams and including collaboration with LCC’s Graham Goldwater.
Ken. To be destroyed began with an archive and a discovery. Artist and photographer Sara Davidmann and her siblings inherited letters and photographs belonging to her uncle and aunt, Ken and Hazel Houston, from their mother Audrey Davidmann in an envelope she had marked ‘Ken. To be destroyed’. It emerged soon after they were married that Ken was transgender. In the context of a British marriage in the 1950s, this inevitably profoundly affected both, their own relationship and their relationships to their social surroundings.

The archive contains letters, photographs and papers. Hazel and Audrey wrote to each other frequently in the late 1950s and early 1960s, after Hazel discovered that Ken was transgender. These letters tell Ken and Hazel’s very private story. For the public Ken was a man, but in the privacy of the home Ken was a woman.
Looking at the photographs Davidmann became acutely aware of their surfaces. The marks of time and damage had become part of the images. This led her to work on the surfaces of the photographs she produced using ink, chalks, magic markers and correction fluid. Later works, in which Davidmann has tried to visualize how Ken might have looked as a woman, are fictional photographs made with digital negatives, hand colouring, darkroom chemicals and bleach.

The Ken. To be destroyed exhibition comes to Moose on the Loose 2017 at London College of Communication after its successful 6 month showing in 2016 at the Schwules Museum in Berlin. A collaboration between UAL Reader and artist Dr Sara Davidmann and the UAL Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC), the exhibition and publication explores Davidmann’s practice-based research project and the new work which has emerged from it via her practice-based collaboration with Graham Goldwater, and the curatorial shaping of the project led by Professor Val Williams and supported by Robin Christian, on-going for the last two years.
During the making of the ‘Ken to be Destroyed’ book Sara Davidmann and Professor Val Williams (PARC) created an archive which preserves and describes the process of creating the book and the Schwules Meuseum exhibition. This archive will be on display in the PARCspace at LCC and could be of relevance to researchers and students in curatorship, photography, family archives, photobook production and gender and sexuality studies.

The Ken Project Archive
Private View, refreshments and short talk: Tuesday 7 March 4.30-7pm
Exhibition open: Open on Tuesdays from 12-2pm, other times by appointment
Times: 12-2pm  
Venue: Archive Room, PARCspace, Room W224, London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle, London SE1 6SB

Image © Sara Davidmann

RSVP to Ken. To be destroyed main Private View using booking form below.