Transitional States: Hormones at the Crossroads of Art and Science

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Curated by


Hormones play an immense role in every single human being’s life. Even before we are born, hormones are at work; they affect us in our mother’s womb and, as we get older, they regulate our moods, sleeping patterns, and growth. Once we hit puberty we are practically at the mercy of our hormones; they dictate our sexual development and impact our emotional and, in many ways, psychological development. As we grow older they affect our fertility, especially for women. Yet for playing such a critical role throughout our lives, few people stop to consider how important hormones are.


With the introduction of artificial hormones in the 1930s, medical scientists sought to identify and employ hormones in new ways. Since then, hormone treatments have affected the lives of millions of people and they are used in a variety of ways throughout contemporary society: contraceptive pills use hormones to prevent pregnancy; transgender people use hormones to express themselves more freely; thyroid disorders are now treatable; and, controversially, athletes are increasingly using hormones to enhance their performance.


Working with a range of stakeholders, we are developing an international public engagement programme entitled ‘Transitional States: Hormones at the Crossroads of Art and Science’. The programme will consist of a traveling exhibition of videos and a number of public debates. It will start in February 2018 at Project Space Plus at the University of Lincoln and travel in May 2018 to the Peltz Gallery at Birkbeck University in London. It will then visit Bologna (venue TBC) in Italy and Barcelona (venue TBC) in Spain at the end of 2018. The exhibition will remain 15-35 days in each city where three public debates that have been created specifically for each location will supplement the exhibition. The public engagement programme aims to raise awareness of the central role hormones play in our lives and how medical research has employed them in contradictory ways.


We are inviting artists to submit existing work or to create new videos or performances for video that explore hormones, medical technologies, sexuality, gender and body modifications. We are particularly interested in the relations and interactions between hormones and transsexuality, non-binary genders, intersexuality, physical alterations, birth control, fertility, menopause and sexology. We would also like to encourage contributions on the ways in which hormones have been used to boost both athletic and sexual performance.


The Jury members listed below will select up to 10 works for the exhibition, which will be curated by the arts organisation, Arts Feminism Queer (


Artists will receive a fee of £100 for screening their work and will be invited to take part in the launch of the video installation in London. Where possible, we will contribute to travel costs and cover accommodation expenses for video authors.


We will also publish a full colour catalogue for the public engagement programme, which will feature all the artists’ works and topics discussed in the public debates.


Deadline: 31 March 2017.


Application forms and guidelines can be found at the bottom of the page.

For further information about the open call, please contact
Lois Keidan

Co-founder and co-Director of the Live Art Development Agency

Previously Director of Live Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, Lois was responsible for national policy and provision for Performance Art at the Arts Council of Great Britain, and has worked at The Midland Group, Nottingham and Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Dartington College of Arts (1999), an Honorary Fellowship by Queen Mary, University of London (2009) and an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Gothenburg (2015).

Laura Leuzzi

Art historian and curator

Laura completed her PhD at Sapienza Università di Roma in 2011. From 2011 to 2014 she was Research Fellow on the AHRC-funded research project REWINDItalia Artists’ Video in Italy in the 70s and 80s (DJCAD, University of Dundee). Currently she is a Post-doctoral Research Assistant on the AHRC-funded research project ‘EWVA – European Women’s Video Art in the 70s and 80s’ (DJCAD, University of Dundee). She is co-editor with Stephen Partridge of REWINDItalia. Early Video Art in Italy (John Libbey Publishing, 2015).

Carlos Motta

Multi-disciplinary artist whose work draws upon political history to create counter narratives that recognize suppressed histories, communities, and identities

He was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1978 and currently lives and works in New York. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the New Museum, New York, MOMA/PS1, New York, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Tate Modern, London; Röda Sten Konsthall, Gothenburg, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, México City, P.P.O.W Gallery, New York, Pérez Art Museum, Miami, and MALBA-Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires. He has also been included in numerous group exhibitions, international film festivals and Biennales including the X Lyon Biennale, X Gwangju Biennale, International Film Festival Rotterdam and Toronto International Film Festival. Motta won the Main Prize – Future Generation Art Prize (2014), was named a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow (2008), and has received grants from Creative Capital (2012), Art Matters (2008) and Cisneros Fontanals Foundation (CIFO) (2006).

Issey Osman

Film curator and script-supervisor who lives and works in London

Issey is currently a film programmer at NUMBI Arts and Associate Editor of the arts magazine SCARF, London. Her multidisciplinary work practice stems from a deep interest in the cultural intersections of identity, gender, race and the relation between visual art and the cinematic experience. She holds a degree from the University of Chicago in Media & Cinema Studies and an MA in Visual Sociology from Goldsmiths College, London. She was previously the lead programmer at Legacy Film Festival, a film exhibition and platform based in Brighton. In 2014, she co-curated the ‘Who is Oscar’ project, showcasing the work of the prolific African-American filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951), and exclusively screened Enemy Within Our Gates (1920), accompanied by live soundtrack at the Southampton Film Week and Brighton Photo Fringe. She also co-curated the project ‘To Rewind, Replay, Review and Reinterpret’, funded by the Arts Council England and Film Hub South East, presenting a series of films and mixed-media events across the South East of England.

Public engagement programme leader
Dr Chiara Beccalossi

(Historian| )

Video exhibition curated by Arts Feminism Queer
Co-Directors Giulia Casalini and Diana Georgiou