Six years ago, local photographer Jana Marcus turned heads with her photography exhibit “Transfigurations: The Making of a Man," a stunning if not illuminating body of work that explored (and exposed) the journey of transgender men through vivid photographs and commentary from its subjects. The work was critically praised and went on to become an award-winning work that eventually included transgender women.
Now, the work is morphing into book form and Marcus, herself, is heading to Seatle to be one of the keynote speakers at the big, bold Gender Odyssey conference on Aug. 5. Marcus' book will be on hand along with other gender-issues illuminati. It's been a fascinating ride for the local, who first began exploring gender issues via her work back in 2003. Since then, the photography show, which included heartfelt writings from its transgender subjects, went on to win Best Photos of the Year in both 2004 and 2005 by Photo District News of New York; was included in The International Photography Awards 2005; the Phelan Art Award 2005; the Excellence in Photography Award from San Jose State’s School of Art & Design; and The Center for Photographic Arts Awards 2004, among other notables.
"My goal in the work was to really normalize transgender community and give them a face and a voice that they never really had before as a group of people," Marcus shares. "So, I think that the power of the photographs, along with the words, really brought people to a form of awareness that they had around transgender people, and what their struggles are to become whole. The other part of the work that has been so successful, is that it has been very universal; that even people who aren't interested in transgender people, the text of the work really revolves around what does it mean to be a 'man' or what does it mean to be a 'woman' in our culture."
Stay tuned for more reports on Marcus' new work in GT come September.
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