The French filmmaker Sébastien Lifshitz has had a lifetime fascination with men and women who refuse to conform to the strictures of gender roles. In fact, his Teddy Award-winning Documentary Film in 2013 Bambi, a profile of French entertainer Marie-Pierre Pruvot is one of the best transgender films ever made. Lifshitz also made a film and a book called Les Invisibles about elderly homosexual men and women speak and their fearless decision to live openly in France at a time when society rejected them.
At the same time over the years, Lifshitz has obsessively visited flea markets, garage sales, junk shops, and eBay to amass an impressive collection of amateur photographs of mostly anonymous men and women who in the privacy of their homes donned whatever clothing they wished and created a picture that stood as evidence to who they knew themselves to be.
A selection of these images from Europe and the United States that date between 1880 and 1980. are now on view in The Photographers Gallery in London in a stunning and fascinating exhibit that opened yesterday called Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross-Dressers.
Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross-Dressers The Photographer’s Gallery https://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/ (February 23 – June 3, 2018).