Curated By Nicco Beretta
November 11 - January 2, 2005
Curated by Nicco Beretta, this group show includes the work of Alison O'Connel, shiloh burton, Raechel Legakes, Lauren Berke, Madeline Nussbaum, Dominika Ksel and Stacia Potter. GONYC magazine named Alison O'Connel one of the "Top Ten Up and Coming" women Artists in 2004. Her subjects capture a broad spectrum within gender. They include both the stereotypical 'femme' and the FtM. shiloh burton has photographed mainly women. Her images capture a human strength intermingled with softness. shiloh burton consistently displays her work across the country. Raechel Legakes captures the movement of everyday living. She shoots random snap shots 'at the hip.' She finds a balance of light and motion in a subject. The series she introduces in Hijacking Gender is a new and exciting endeavor. Lauren Berke's paintings and drawings are angular and often called "scratchy". Her use of brush stroke and pen and ink captures the delicacy of a portrait when the subject seems to be solely within itself. Madeline Nussbaum's paintings exemplify an important normalcy and innocence that is under-represented in Trans subjects. Dominika Ksel's artwork and films grasp society's discomfort with sexuality and with what is often termed deviant. Stacia Potter's sculptures question the sex of gender. Her sculpted shapes and objects oddly gender themselves.
65 Hope Street Gallery is located in Williamsburg between Havemeyer and Marcy, just off the Lorimer stop on the L train. Open Saturday &
Sunday from 12-6 pm or by appointment. For additional information about the gallery, please go to www.65hopestreet.com or email email@example.com.
A vehicle safely holds and carries people and their possessions. Steel, metal, plastic and glass surround the passengers. A vehicle is
a solid piece of machinery that runs on fuel and is locked. As passengers, we lock the doors and we're safe: untouchable and protected. No one can steal this. We impress ourselves by decorating these capsules with decals and kitschy gadgets. An armored truck wears logos to signify its status. We think there is nothing to doubt about a vehicle. We ride in gender with a similar assumed safety. Gender is
a vehicle that holds and carries us with false safety. Vehicles are hijacked and gender is a constructed identity with - to our disbelief
- just as much vulnerability. Hijacking gender threatens our safety. It means that our locks don't work. We need to reconstruct this
To hijack is to take over and make one's own. To hijack gender is to redefine what it means to be a 'man' and to be a 'woman' in our public
and private bodies. Popular consensus mandates gender expression within a hetero-central framework. A 'man' is born with a penis, carries his wallet in his pocket and is stronger and less emotional than a woman. Conversely, a 'woman' is born with breasts, holds a purse, has smooth skin and can't help being overly sensitive. These identities are not as clear-cut as our Euro-North American culture makes them out to be. Many within the queer community blur these distinctions. More specifically, a Trans Identified person considers oneself belonging to a gender other than the one they were born into.
This transformation includes but is not limited to "binding," "packing," "tucking," hormonal therapy, implants, bilateral mastectomies, tracheal shaves, metoidioplasties, vaginoplasties, etc.
This diversity of gender expression is not an innovative concept. In 1990 the Native American/First Nations gay and lesbian conference
formally introduced the term "two-spirit". According to presenter Ryan Mercredi, it refers to one's own person and spiritual nature being
composed of a male and a female spirit. It implies "balance within oneself, and between the emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual parts of one's person". Within this community, "there's a movement away from defining things according to a linear spectrum or continuum. A model a lot of people can relate to is the circle, because the circle is a very important symbol both spiritually and culturally. There is an infinite number of points along a circle-there's no one way to be, and no one end or beginning." Other cultures' perspectives on gender identity can help fuel our own reconstruction.
A vast number of people identify outside the 'gender binary system'. We must collectively overhaul our definitions and their roles in order
to reconstruct this vehicle of gender.
Jennifer S. Musawwir - Curator
65 Hope Street Gallery
65 Hope Street, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11211
[ed: I don't expect the passages on gender/transgender 101 to be new to, or necessarily representative of, members of this community, but I also felt weird deleting it. I also really love the gender vehicle image...]