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Queer History of Photography: New Exhibition in Berlin


A new exhibition in Berlin shows photography that dissolves gender boundaries - right through the history of images.

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The new photo exhibition "Queerness in Photography" in the Berlin exhibition center C/O shows how photography plays with gender concepts and blurs borders - right through the history of the picture.

This is also the case here, in a picture by Walter Pfeiffer.

Photo: Walter Pfeiffer / Michel Gilgen / Art + Commerce

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On the fly:

In 1992, actress Tilda Swinton slipped into the role of Orlando in a film adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel of the same name.

Over the centuries, the character has mysteriously changed gender several times.

Photo: Sally Potter

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"Typical woman" becomes queer:

the eyes are perfectly made up, the head thrown back.

The photo by Zackary Drucker shows the pose of a seductive femme fatale - and thus the clichéd image of a type of woman that is adopted here in the queer community.

Photo: Zackary Drucker / Luis De Jesus

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Beard and lipstick:

In some cases, however, binary gender images are also completely overthrown.

One example is the art collective FAKA from South Africa: in a portrait of Jamal Nxedlana, traditionally constructed gender clichés are combined in one person.

Photo: Jamal Nxedlana

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Especially since the turn of the millennium, photographers have repeatedly questioned gender images aesthetically.

Collier Schorr creates smooth transitions with his pictures of young people.

However, photographic representations of the LGBTQIA+ community are not new.

Photo: Collier Schorr / 303 Gallery

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Crossdressing in 1880:

The Sébastien Lifshitz Collection shows how playing with gender identities was staged in the early history of photography.

Photo: Sebastien Lifshitz Collection

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Self-reflection on one's own gender:

the French filmmaker Lifshitz compiled amateur photographs spanning around 120 years, with drag queens, androgynous people in suits, but also women who married other women in simulated weddings.

Photo: Sebastien Lifshitz Collection

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Various gender clichés are staged next to each other in front of the camera.

Here, for example, with short-cut hair that is draped back with a perm, like an updo.

Photo: Sebastien Lifshitz Collection

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Retreats in the countryside:

For decades, trans identity was taboo, and in the 1950s it was even a criminal offense in the USA.

Many crossdressers lived out their identity in secret, in safe spaces like Casa Susanna.

The weekend meetup was in a secluded wooded area in the Appalachian Mountains a few miles from New York.

Photo: Courtesy of the Cindy Sherman Collection

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Blurred tracks:

Photographer Cindy Shermann found several photos of Casa Susanna at a flea market.

Although it is certain where the pictures were taken, the identity of the people photographed is not known, and so their personal history remains a secret to this day.

Photo: Courtesy of the Cindy Sherman Collection


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-09-22

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