Alternative beer label artwork by Leicester researchers featured in new exhibition

Artwork by Leicester researchers is to be featured in a new exhibition exploring gender relations in night life drinking spaces.

The piece of art, in the form of a beer label, will be on display as part of the Liverpool Biennial art festival in an exhibition called ‘Gender Dilemmas: Negotiating Femininity and Masculinity in Contemporary Night Life’ which runs from 26 – 28 August in Road Studios in Liverpool.

The exhibition, curated by artist and senior researcher Amanda Marie Atkinson, aims to draw attention to public drinking environments and commercialised neo-liberal contexts in which contemporary femininity and masculinity are performed, positioned and reconfigured.

It will explore a number of important issues present in such heteronormative spaces; the pornification of night life and the mainstreaming of pole/lap dancing clubs; young women’s negotiation of intoxication in the performance of the ‘hyper-sexual’ self; the sexist nature of alcohol advertising; sexual content; alcohol hegemonic masculinity and ‘stag nights’; and the public bathroom as a public/private sphere in which the gender binary is reinforced.

The beer label, designed by Dr Clare Gunby from our Department of Criminology in collaboration with Dr Anna Carline in the Leicester Law School and Stuart Taylor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University, will feature in the donation bar at the opening of the exhibition along with other alternative alcohol marketing produced by women and the feminist community (including men).

Dr Clare Gunby, Lecturer in Criminology at Leicester, said: “We hope that our contribution to the exhibition will highlight the tensions between sexually aggressive alcohol advertising, victim-focused crime prevention messages and the emotional labour women invest in trying to reduce their perceived vulnerability, when out in the evening.”