“Visibly Invisible: Art And Transgender Subjectivity” may be one of the most thought-provoking art exhibits of the year, but not for the reason you think. True, Cabrillo Gallery wins points for offering an innovative mix of mindbending artists and works that explore themes of transgenderism, but what stands out, truly, is the work itself, much of it downright dynamic. For starters, there’s an award-winning offering by photographer Jana Marcus with selections from her renowned photodocumentary “Transfigurations.” That work turned heads a few years back. In fact, the show toured nationally and won many accolades. Marcus’ goal has been to shed more light on who transgender people are, a misunderstood subject the mainstream culture has often shadowed in mystery. Take note of how well the work dips into the waters of gender politics and how it explores what comprises masculinity and femininity.
The work of artist Sheila Malone is on hand, too. The photographic and digital video installation “RHO||FTM” follows the impact of “T,” the hormone Testosterone, on the biological “sex” and the “cultural gender” of her subject. Look for video, sound bytes and still photography.
Particulary interesting may be the paintings and drawings by Boston artist Cobi Moules. These works explore Moules’ own personal transition from female to male. The artist regularly paints and draws self-portraits documenting this transition, and here, there’s a selection of work from two larger series, “The Beard” and “Weight.” Watch for an inventive depiction of the hormomal changes in Moules’ body in these pieces.
The work of Maxx Sizeler, a New Orleans-based artist, may seem playful and colorful, but there’s a message in there, too. Sizeler’s shoes, toy cars, and the colors, pink, blue and yellow, are all elements used in his work to explore the relationship to gender and the body—shoes, for instance, function as a kind of pedestal for the body; the colors pink for “girl,” blue for “boy,” and yellow for “neutral.” Here, he uses it to represent everyone in-between.
The exhibit also boasts a film by San Francisco filmmaker Shani Heckman. Her humorous film Wrong Bathroom, blends humor with formal interviews that expose the battle for entry into gender-specific restroom spaces.
The entire exhibition is made possible in part by the Student Senate of Cabrillo College and Cabrillo College Student Services. Look for more in-depth coverage of this captivating exhibit in next week’s Good Times.
“Visibly Invisible” runs Oct. 1-29 at Cabrillo Gallery at Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos. The Opening Reception is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30. A discussion with the artists is 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6. For more information, visit cabrillo.edu/services/artgallery/index.html.
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