Radical Tenderness: Trans for Trans Portraiture
Radical Tenderness: Trans for Trans Portraiture st the Alice Austen House NYC highlights photographic work from four trans and non-binary artists whose portrait photography exudes tender intimacy and calls for a radical shift in visibility politics.
©Texas Isaiah „my name is my name i“, 2016
Texas Isaiah’s self-portrait my name is my name i, 2016 is also set in a domestic space, with their body tucked under the branch of an impressively leaved potted plant. The image belongs to a series of four photographs which incorporates a system of celebration (altar) to highlight the multi-dimensional relationship between ancestry ceremonial rituals, natural elements, dream etching, and protection. It exudes quiet, with the figure shown folded in to themselves, or in repose. The tenderness of the artist’s hand touching the cheek of the sitter in [we are] being held for the first time, 2019 is part of Flowers at Your Feet series which archives the contemporary presence of anyone underneath a Black trans masculine umbrella. Although the artist developed both projects years apart, they share common threads regarding perceived masculinity, community, and locating selfhood within the archives.
The presented images turn away from thinking of visibility in terms of commercial representation made for others. The photographs portray muses, friends, icons, and self on aesthetic terms that say this one is “for us.” Consider the different resonances of the portrayed having their eyes closed or averted. Feel the atmosphere of a bedroom, a dressing room, a private moment in a park. This group show is in honor of the Alice Austen legacy of creating meaningful photographs with friends that both create opportunities to bond and leave a trace of one’s love for each other behind.
Showing work from Johanna Jackie Baier (Germany), Zackary Drucker (US), Texas Isaiah (US), and Del LaGrace Volcano (US/Sweden), Radical Tenderness aims to inspire visitors to consider the role of the photographic camera in practices of survival and care. Explore the exhibition online
This exhibition is curated in partnership with Dr. Eliza Steinbock of Leiden University, the Netherlands. Dr. Steinbock’s work in cultural analysis investigates visual culture mediums like film, digital media, and photography, with a special focus on dimensions of race, gender and sexuality.
Alice Austen House, 2 Hylan Blvd, NYC
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