The Third Gender

Diversity is More

Is it a boy or a girl? German federal law requires that the identity of a child, including the child’s gender, be reported to the Office of Civil Registry within one week of their birth. For a long time, gender has been predominantly understood, both legally and socially, as binary; one is either “male” or “female”. Those who identified with neither or both were effectively excluded from society. Since 2013, however, German law has allowed people to refrain from gender identification in official reporting, and in 2018 an option to identify as “divers” (other) was added.
In October 2017, the Federal Constitutional Court decided that the German Basic Law should protect the gender identity of those who permanently identify with neither the male nor female classifications. But does a third option for gender identification do justice to the true diversity of gender identity?
How is gender affiliation defined, and how does it relate to gender discourse for non-binary, transgender, transsexual, or intersex persons? The exhibition “The Third Gender. Diversity is More” brings together multicultural voices that deal with these questions, and reflect on societal and social understanding of gender diversity.

Artistic direction: Janusz Czech, Lisa Schlenker (assistent)
Co-curator: Tobias Ebel

Exhibition views


with works from, i.a.:

Lukas Avendaño & Mario Patiño,
Michel Beauchemin, Lori Levy &
Gretchen Vogel,
Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley,
Bex Day,
Jake Elwes,
Yishay Garbasz,
Marco Goecke,
Sunil Gupta,
Robin Hammond,
Alex Heide,
Silke Helmerdig,
Lena Hetzel,
Rad Hourani,
Melanie Jilg,
Ins A Kromminga,
Jean-Jacques Lebel,

Marie Losier,
Carlos Motta,
Zanele Muholi,
Vanessa Ohlhausen,
Ulrike Ottinger,
Christina Pasedag,
Sally Potter,
Chantal Regnault,
Daniel Rycharski,
Walter Schels,
Linda Simpson,
Charan Singh,
Darryl DeAngelo Terrell,
Molly Vaughan,
Thomas Wartmann,
Joel-Peter Witkin,
Sarah Wong,
Taokan Xu,
Ryan Young,
Tobias Zielony

The Zizi Show" by Jake Elwes

„My latest work aims to bring together two things I love, artificial intelligence, and the world of drag performance. In an entertaining and humorous way, drag has allowed me to dig into some of the social issues built into machine learning technology. Drag is just such a brilliant medium for exploring the layers of construction and social bias in AI.

Working closely with friends from the London drag scene, in Zizi we have created a ‘deepfake’ virtual cabaret. Deepfake technology has enabled us to collaborate with machine learning to do drag – trained on 13 extremely talented performers – perhaps proving that drag queens, drag kings and drag things will never be replaced by artificial intelligence.

The Zizi Project pushes the boundaries of both drag and AI to discover what AI can teach us about drag – and what drag can teach us about AI.”

– Jake Elwes, artist

Melanie Jilg "The cat would rather be a bird ... "


The cat would rather be a bird … (2007)

A visual audio piece

Stereo, 16:9

55 min

Four intersexual people talk about their experiences, thoughts and feelings. What does the questioning of gender, one of the most important bases of identity in our culture, mean? They tell of strangeness in their own bodies and strangeness in society, the accompanying taboo and compulsive conformity to the heterosexual norm through serious interventions in a person’s (physical) integrity; no possibility to express oneself because one quickly comes up against language and knowledge barriers and at the same time the longing for perception and recognition. But where does the real problem lie?

This documentary experiment does not want to explain the medical-biological “phenomenon” of intersex. Doctors will not have their say in this film; neither will there be pictures of “ambiguous” genitals. A simple attempt to listen to those who have long remained silent.

Written/Directed/Edited by: Melanie Jilg

Original soundtrack: Cornelia Böhm

Virtual tour



Opening hours

Thursday-Saturday 3.00-7.00pm
Sunday 11.00am-7.00pm

Please find here what to consider basically before visiting the exhibition:

  • Medical mask requirement
  • Disinfect hands
  • Keep a distance of 1.5m to other visitors
  • Tracking of contacts
  • No prior registration required

Please note the current regulations depending on the incidence level of the city of Pforzheim!

Incidence level 1 (under 10) and 2 (10 to 35):
no further restrictions

Incidence level 3 (35-50) and 4 (over 50):

  • Tested, Vaccinated, Recovered
  • Number of people allowed to be in the A.K.T; at one time is limited.

Thank you for your understanding & we look forward to your visit!


Theaterstraße 21, 75175 Pforzheim
Artistic director: Janusz Czech

07231 393750

Wirtschaft und Stadtmarketing Pforzheim, Fachbereich Kreativwirtschaft
Emma-Jaeger-Straße 20, 75175 Pforzheim

Press contact:
Alexandra Vogt

07231 391874