EYE CANDY

In Her First-Ever Art Show, Tilda Swinton Tackles Identity and Virginia Woolf

235MAG071_Potter-HR_web.jpg
Courtesy of the artist

Over the course of 70-plus films, Tilda Swinton has appeared on-screen as everything from a bald sorcerer to an 82-year-old man. In real life, though, it wasn’t until this year that she took on the role of curator, leading to an exhibition now on view at Aperture Gallery in New York City. Titled “Orlando,” the show takes its name from the 1928 novel written by Virginia Woolf—a 1992 adaptation of which Swinton starred in as the titular Orlando, who suddenly transforms into a woman after spending hundreds of years living as a man. But in the decades since, Swinton has come to consider Orlando as an exploration of more than just gender, as her curatorial choices readily reflect. Along with photographs by Elle Pérez, whose work often tackles queer and trans representation, and Collier Schorr, who contributed several of the photos she’s taken of the model Casil McArthur throughout his transition, there are works exploring other facets of identity, like Paul Mpagi Sepuya‘s references to the novel’s “barbaric” treatment of race. Take a look inside the show, here.

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Courtesy of the artist

Jamal Nxedlana, FAKA Portraits, for Aperture, 2019. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

Mickalene Thomas, Untitled #2 (Orlando Series), for Aperture, 2019. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Courtesy of the artist

A pre-production image made by the director Sally Potter to help secure funding for the film Orlando, spring 1988. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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© Basilisk Communications Ltd.

Liam Daniel, Derek Jarman, Still from the Garden, 1990. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Courtesy of University of Sussex Special Collections at The Keep

A portrait of Virginia Stephen by an unknown photographer, sent by Stephen to Leonard Woolf in 1912. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Courtesy of the artist and 303 Gallery, New York

Collier Schorr, Untitled (Casil), 2015–18. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Collier SchorrCourtesy of the artist and 303 Gallery, New York

Collier Schorr, Untitled (Casil), 2015–18. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

Mickalene Thomas, Untitled #3 (Orlando Series), for Aperture, 2019. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Courtesy of the artist

Carmen Winant, A melon, a pineapple, an olive tree, an emerald, a fox in the snow, for Aperture, 2019. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Courtesy of the artist

Jamal Nxedlana, FAKA Portraits for Aperture, 2019. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Untitled (Casil), 2015–18
Courtesy of the artist and 303 Gallery, New York

Collier Schorr, Untitled (Casil), 2015–18. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Courtesy of the artist and Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

Viviane Sassen, Venus & Mercury, 2019. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Courtesy of the artist

A pre-production image made by the director Sally Potter to help secure funding for the film Orlando, spring 1988. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Rosalyne, 2019
Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

Zackary Drucker, Rosalyne, for Aperture, 2019. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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Rowlands/Bogart (Female Dominant), 1982
Courtesy of the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York

Lynn Hershman Leeson, Rowlands/Bogart (Female Dominant), from the series Hero Sandwich, 1982. Featured in the exhibition “Orlando” curated by Tilda Swinton, on view at the Aperture Foundation in New York City through July 11, 2019.

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© the artist and courtesy Stevenson, Cape Town and Johannesburg

“Orlando,” Aperture #235, summer 2019. Cover by Viviane Sassen.