Transgender Me

16 Aug – 17 Sep 2012

This year, the Transgender Me exhibition, a follow-up to the last year’s event held in the Prague’s NoD gallery, deals with the term ‘transgender’ as an open category, comprising individuals who have undergone (or are going to undergo) a sex change surgery, as well as those who do not wish to have
a reassignment surgery, but who, for some reason, do not fully identify with their biological or social gender. In the above-defined context, the traditional bi-polar two-gender division becomes meaningless, which is also the case, for example, in some of the Indian cultures that used to distinguish between multiple gender roles.

The transgender category traditionally also includes for example cross-dressing, i.e. wearing clothing conventionally associated with the opposite sex. This leads to a remarkable paradox. While in the case of Marlene Dietrich or Coco Chanel, cross-dressing was generally socially accepted,
the cross-dressing tendencies of Edgar Hoover, the most powerful man in the FBI, remained strictly private and carefully hidden. This image of a mighty man in a women’s dress is often considered by a patriarchal society to be
a symbol of a loss of power.

The exhibition presents the works of artists living and creating in the Czech and Slovak Republic. As such, it uncovers various aspects of the transgender category and attempts to indicate its broadness and the context in which these individuals exist, as well as their feelings. Presumably the most recurrent theme running through the exhibition is self-reflection and coming to terms with one’s own gender identity (Jožo Rabara, Lukáš Houdek, Alena Foustková, Jana Polášková). Two paintings by Jan Gemrot present the motif of a suicide at the age when individuals are searching for their identity. In her analytical photographs, Jana Štěpánová deals with social aspects and the family. Other topics the exhibition comments on include the relation of gender programming and the body (Michelle Siml), or glamour, visuality and forms (Petr Motyčka, Nikola Tačevski, Veronika Nastoupilová, Jakub Gulyás and Lenka Sršňová). Political aspects are present in the video-installation
by Tamara Moyzes, and personal political attitudes are also a source of inspiration for ‘gender fuck’ works by the authors from the Kvér fanzine. Paintings by Blanka Jakubčíková and an installation by Lenka Klodová provide an original view of the gender fuck refusal of the bi-polar division.
In addition to clearly defined topics, the exhibition places a significant emphasis on an imaginative personal dimension of queer poetics
(Mark Ther, Darina Alster, Maroš Rovnák, Eva Pandulová, Jan Miko).

Except for 3 authors, the exhibition comprises finished works, as primarily those artists who have been focusing on this specific topic have been addressed. These are complemented with a selection of works of artists who joined our open call. Two artists who do not focus on the topic concerned in the long term have been included in the exhibition, but their selected works correspond with some of the aspects of the exhibition’s concept.

Exhibiting artists: Darina Alster and Tereza z Davle, Alena Foustková,
Jan Gemrot, Jakub Gulyás and Lenka Sršňová, Lukáš Houdek, Blanka Jakubčíková, Lenka Klodová, Jan Miko, Tamara Moyzes, Petr Motyčka,
Eva Pandulová, Jana Polášková, Jožo Rabara, Maroš Rovňak, Michelle Šiml,
Jana Štěpánová, Nikola Tačevski, Mark Ther and others.

Curators: Michelle Šiml and Lukáš Houdek

The exhibition is accompanied by various events.