Queer x Midsumma

Image by Ponch Hawkes

Curatorial Conversations: Sat 26-Sun 27 March

Community and Self: Sat 11am

Discovering community is often about finding the people with whom you can share a sense of self. Join exhibition curators Myles-Russell Cook and Meg Slater to explore how art making has long been utilised by queer and LGBTQ+ people as a means of self-expression and community building.

Community & Self
A very camp looking teapot in the shape of a flamboyantly dressed person

Camp and Performance: Sat 11:40am

Whether expressed through painting, decoration, fashion or performance, camp seeks to interrogate hierarchies and undermine cues that reinforce social positioning around gender and sexuality, class and aesthetics. Join exhibition co-curators Angela Hesson and Ted Gott  in conversation unpacking the expression of camp and performance in artworks, designs, fashion and textiles represented in QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection.

Camp & Performance
Classical-style painting of a nude female torso with goats in the background

Queer Fantastic: Sat 12:20pm

Imagination and fantasy have long existed as realms of queer possibility, within which queerness is figured through transformation, ambiguity, surfaces and symbols, rather than through real-world acts or identities. Join exhibition curator Angela Hesson to unpack these themes, and how they are expressed through art in Queer: Stories from the NGV Collection.

Queer Fantastic
Classical painting of a woman dressed in black lace and holding a sheet of paper

Symposium: Sun 27 Mar 1pm

Karen Bryant, Chief Executive of Midsumma, will welcome and introduce the symposium then a keynote lecture will be delivered as a broadcast direct from New York by Dr Maura Reilly, curator, arts writer and non-profit leader. Dr Reilly considers what it means to queer an artwork in the museum context, with reference to past queer and LGBTQ+ exhibitions in Australia and beyond, including the NGV’s Queer: Stories from the NGV Collection exhibition. At 2pm a panel will be moderated by Midsumma CEO Karen Bryant, in which the curators of QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection discuss the exhibition’s development, central themes, and the processes involved in applying a queer lens to near 400 artworks from the NGV collection, with reference to Maura Reilly’s keynote lecture. The panelists are: Dr Ted Gott​, Senior Curator, International Art, NGV  | Myles Russell-Cook​, Senior Curator, Indigenous Art, NGV  | Dr Angela Hesson, Curator, Australian Painting, Sculpture and Decorative Arts to 1980, NGV ​


Queer shines a light on the NGV Collection to examine and reveal the queer stories works of art can tell. This exhibition of works from the NGV Collection spans historical eras and diverse media including painting, drawing, photography, decorative arts, fashion, video, sculpture, and design and explores queerness as an expression of sexuality and gender, a political movement, a sensibility, and as an attitude that defies fixed definition.

The full exhibition runs from 10 MAR – 21 AUG 2022. During this time, Midsumma will program events on 19-20 and 26-27 MARCH 2022.

Presented alongside this landmark at NGV, explore queer histories, experiences and ideas within and beyond the museum walls in a full day program featuring local, national, and international queer artists, writers and leaders. Conversations, exhibition tours, performances and community-led presentations look at the complexity and diversity of queerness as an expression of sexuality and gender, a political movement, a way of understanding the now, and a way to feel towards what comes next.


Rather than attempting to provide an definitive history of queer art, the exhibition explores the NGV Collection from a queer perspective, presenting and interpreting queer concepts and stories. Many works in the exhibition are by artists who identify as queer; some are by artists who lived in times when such identification was not possible; and some works are not by queer artists but have a connection to queer histories. The exhibition highlights that queerness is intersectional, and that LGBTQ+ rights are interwoven with other political and equality movements. Beyond exploring new layers of interpretation and reinvestigating conventional narratives, this exhibition also considers absences in the NGV Collection itself, by excavating queer history where it has been omitted or eclipsed, through oversight or intent.

QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection includes approximately 400 artworks from antiquity to the present day, making the exhibition the most historically expansive thematic presentation of its kind ever presented by an Australian art institution.

QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection is accompanied by a major publication, as well as a diverse range of programs and events.

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Curatorial Conversations: Sat 19-Sun 20 March

A classical Greek vase

Classical Queer: Sat 19 Mar 11am

Discover the fascinating connections between the ancient world and QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection. Exhibition co-curators Ted Gott and Angela Hesson will converse about stories delving into history uncovering the wonderful world of the classically Queer.

Classical Queer
Two blak men, one leaning against the other in a tender pose

Love, Desire and Sensuality: Sat 19 Mar 11.40am

Love, Desire and Sensuality – Exhibition co-curators Myles Russell-Cook and Angela Hesson will engage in conversations around some of the stories of love, desire and sensuality represented in QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection.

Love, Desire and Sensuality
An image of a rainbow flag

Activism: Sat 19 Mar 12.20pm

From community building to public action and the creation of artworks, queer people have long devised methods to work against systems of oppression and discrimination. Join exhibition co-curators Meg Slater and Ted Gott in conversation exploring artworks in QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection that highlight pivotal moments in the long history of queer activism, and document community building, endurance and resistance.

Shirtless men embracing in a tiled space - probably a public toilet

Queer Spaces: Sat 19 Mar 1.30pm

From the home to the artist’s studio to the nightclub, physical spaces have often been sought out by queer people as sites of refuge, safety, desire, community and resistance. Join exhibition co-curators Meg Slater and Pip Wallis in conversation exploring the spaces that have historically been significant sites for by queer people as expressed in artworks in QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection.

Queer Spaces
A slightly-open mollusc being held in a human palm

Community Connections: Sun 20 Mar 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm

A series of reflections offered by queer curators, writers and activists. This program hands the microphone back to community to broaden the stories of a selection of artworks presented in QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection, to which our speakers have chosen to respond. Audience members will also be invited to share their thoughts and reflections on exhibition artworks, artists and themes. Hear from and be heard in this QUEER X Midsumma program. 1pm: INTRODUCTION | 1.30pm AAMER AHMED | 2pm NIC HOLAS | 2.30pm JAKE TREACY | 3pm PUBLIC DISCUSSION

Community Connections

Event & ticketing details


Wheelchair Access

Dates & Times

WHEN 19-20 Mar, 26-27 Mar | Sat, Sun
INFO Check ngv.vic.gov.au for full schedule


FREE No ticket required


National Gallery of Victoria

180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

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Flinders Street


Any Swanston St tram to stop 14

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