An A to Z of fear

In our Idiosyncratic A to Z of the Human Condition exhibition we invited you to contribute to the gallery in different ways, from submitting Instagram photos to marking your height on the wall. For the letter “F” we asked you to leave your fears with us. Russell Dornan presents the most common ones along with a selection of the most interesting.

Our current exhibition, The Institute of Sexology, may have recently opened but the exhibition that occupied its space immediately before it was a highly participative exploration of what it means to be human.

In it, the alphabet ran along both of the longest sides of the gallery, each letter opposite itself; every letter stood for a theme relating to the human condition. On one side, we presented a selection of historical objects associated with each letter’s theme; on the other side the same themes were explored using participatory activities in the gallery so our visitors could engage with those themes directly, simultaneously contributing to the exhibition itself.

"Three Monsters" and a scare devil on display under F is for Fears in the A to Z exhibition.

“Three Monsters” and a scare-devil on display under F is for Fears in the A to Z exhibition.

“F” stood for fear. Oxford dictionary defines it as follows:

“An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.”

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The Transvengers webcomic

The Transvengers webcomic was created by a group of young trans people aged 13-19 from Gendered Intelligence and is featured in the Institute of Sexology exhibition. Find out more about the project on our website.

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Condoms: beneath the sheath

The Institute of Sexology opens 20 November 2014. A candid exploration of the most publicly discussed of private acts, it features over 200 objects spanning art, rare archival material, erotica, film and photography. In one last attempt to whet your appetite, Taryn Cain tells us a little about the history of the condom, some examples of which will be on display.

The original condoms, which first showed up over 3,000 years ago, probably weren’t all that good for safe sex. They were more likely to protect you from the elements than from your sexual partner. The first documented use of a condom in Europe was in 1564 by the anatomist Fallopia (who also gave his name to fallopian tubes).

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