back to events

Special Event

Orlando at McEvoy Foundation for the Arts

Saturday, February 8

5:00 pm

McEvoy Foundation for the Arts 1150 25th Street, Building B San Francisco, California 94107

Join Aperture at the McEvoy Foundation for the opening reception of Orlando. Orlando presents recent and newly commissioned photographs inspired by the themes of Virginia Woolf’s prescient 1928 novel, which tells the story of a young nobleman during the era of Queen Elizabeth I who lives for three centuries without aging and mysteriously shifts gender along the way. In 1992, filmmaker Sally Potter released a now-classic adaptation of the book with Tilda Swinton in the starring role. Since then, Woolf’s tale has continued to hold sway over the actor, who describes the book’s ability “to change like a magic mirror. Where I once assumed it was a book about eternal youth, I now see it as a book about growing up, about learning to live.”

The exhibition extends Swinton’s longtime exploration of the central themes of the novel; gender fluidity, limitlessness, and the deep perspective that is earned from a long life. Supported by a new selection of artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection, Orlando offers a panoply of colors and tastes that seek to liberate traditions of portraiture in photography from the constructs of prescriptive gender or social norms at a moment when debates around identity, representation, and society have reinvigorated the story’s legacy.

Orlando is guest curated by Tilda Swinton and organized by Aperture. It is accompanied by Issue #235, Summer 2019 of Aperture magazine, also guest edited by Swinton, featuring writings from Michael Cunningham, Isaac Julien, Lynne Tillman, and B. Ruby Rich. Copies are available at MFA throughout the exhibition.

Exhibition on view February 7–May 2, 2020. For more information see here.


In conjunction with the exhibition Orlando, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts (MFA) presents a series of events that animate, challenge, and interpret Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, as well as the film and exhibition.

Sally Potter’s Orlando
Tuesday,February 25, 6:45 pm at the Roxie Theater

A rare 35mm screening of Sally Potter’s now-classic adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s pioneering novel.

It’s a Moment
Friday, March 6, 6 pm at Pro Arts Gallery & Commons

An Orlando-inspired evening of performances and conversations on transformation and empowerment in the arts.

Any Other Way: Celebrating the Life and Work of Jackie Shane
Thursday, March 26, 7 pm

Artist Zackary Drucker and special guests honor the legacy of the late transgender rhythm and blues singer Jackie Shane.

Teknolust and Conceiving Ada with Lynn Hershman Leeson
Saturday, April 4, 5 pm

A double-feature of two groundbreaking films starring Tilda Swinton by artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, in conjunction with the exhibition Orlando.

Brontez Purnell as Orlando as Brontez Purnell: “My” Journey
Saturday, May 2, 7 pm

Brontez Purnell explores Viriginia Woolf’s Orlando in an immersive, multidisciplinary performance. This event is ticketed.

Orlando at McEvoy Foundation for the Arts