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In honor of the National Queer Arts Festival,  Femina Potens is proud to present “Identity,” an exhibit dedicated to exploring the multifaceted constructions of gender identity, the gendered presentations of the artists themselves, and the outside perceptions of queer identity.  In deconstructing binaries of gender identities, we have invited artists Jess T. Duggan, Melvin Herrick, Julie Sutherland, and Fakir Musafar to explore the multiplicity of gender identity through various mediums such as pen and ink, linocut print, and photography.

Show runs through June 28. 

Biographies

Photographer Jess T. Dugan is interested in examining how deeply gender norms have become embedded into our society.Through his images, I challenge these norms and give a voice to the people who question and fight them every day.  In utilizing black and white photography, Dugan converys direct and honest portrayals, aiming to capture a person in all of their specificity while also creating a portrait that is universal. 

Artist Melvin Herrick’s simplistic black and white pen and ink drawings explore the connections between the complexity of ordinary individual and collective lives; in particular, the small victories, uncensored emotions and ‘unwritten’ narratives and histories that occur off the radar of dominant cultural and political authorities. Herrick’s creative practice questions notions of masculinity and gendered violence, which involves collecting and constructing (extra)ordinary lives and corresponding visual language 

Julie Sutherland utilizes the medium of linocut prints to explore the grey area between political issues and personal experience, especially in regard to gender, violence, history and landscape. Sutherland’s “Beauties” have mined art historical sources to highlight disturbing gender violence, reconfigured mainstream ideal beauty to be more flexible – but no less beautiful – and explored how landscape and space can be considered “queer”.  

World- renouned photographer,shaman, artist, master piercer and body modifier, Fakir Musafar’s collection of “Genderflex” photographs wonderfully capture portraits of those who feel out-of-place on on either extreme of the gender spectrum and have found a comfortable place in the middle. This photo-documentay project reveals the self- expression of those who are negotiating the politics of gender identity.