The exhibition brings together more than five hundred artworks and documents, mainly from the Centre Pompidou collection. It sets out to show how, since the beginning of the twentieth century, artists have contributed to transforming the representation of so-called “minority” sexualities and have participated in the struggles of LGBTQIA+ communities for recognition of their rights. They thus accompanied a liberation movement that saw the formation of transgressive, partly underground subcultures that paved the way in the late 1960s for demonstrations of fully exercised militant action in the public arena.
Far from presenting a one-dimensional narrative, “Over the Rainbow” proposes a constellation of diverse artworks whose common feature is that each in its own way affirms what homophobic representation denigrates. The works presented are rooted in an eminently social dimension, mainly in disciplines of mechanical reproduction, such as film and printed matter, the only ones likely to provide broad dissemination. The collections of the Kandinsky Library are thus largely solicited: thanks to the institutional support of Gilead Sciences, they have recently been enriched with several hundred items – illustrated books, photographs, reviews and queer zines – forming a vast archive of LGBTQIA+ visual culture from the 20th and 21st centuries.