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Transgender Art & Culture In 2014

Trans artists were busy this year! The Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art (MOTHA) highlights 41 of the artists and projects that made a sizeable splash, a significant sprinkle, or any sort of spritz of success!

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1. The Transgender Tipping Point

TIME magazine / Via time.com

According to this TIME magazine cover story, it was in the summer of 2014 that transgender tipped (and Christine Jorgenson rolled over in her grave)! Congrats to Laverne Cox, who acted as brave and beautiful figurehead to this sensational media event!

2. Transparent TV show

Luke Gilford / Via advocate.com

2014 was the year serial television represented trans as something other than a mutilated body in a crime drama. Thanks to the transfirmative action hiring practices of Transparent’s creator Jill Solloway, the production brought on many trans & gender non-conforming people to create this amazing (but sadly Amazon-produced) show. Talented queer and trans people onboard included: Ali Liebegott, Alexandra Billings, Rhys Ernst, Ian Harvie, D’lo, Sam Rypinski, Zackary Drucker, Lee Faelnar Te, Maya Jafer, Vick Quezada, Leon Mostovoy, Zoe Van Brunt, Jordyn Serwin, Wyatt Gray, Ada Tinnell, Ezrha Jean Black, Van Barnes, Trace Lysette, and Esti Giordani. Plus, Our Lady J has been hired on for the second season as the show’s first trans woman writer!

3. Jared Leto wins Oscar for supporting role in Dallas Buyers Club

Jared Leto won an Academy Award for his supporting role as HIV+ transwoman Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, and the hashtag #notyourrayon was born. (Read Fallon Fox’s piece in TIME mag about it.) Trans people were pissed, and many great interventions and critiques were made about “trans face” (i.e., non-trans actors playing trans characters). This film also signaled Hollywood’s renewed interest in AIDS dramas for straight people! (See Home Video Returns: Media Ecologies of the Past of HIV/AIDS by Alex Juhasz & Ted Kerr.)

4. Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

Via janetmock.com

Janet Mock’s autobiography Redefining Realness debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list and the writer swept the nation with her wildly successful book tour, as well as her famous reading of CNN's Piers Morgan!

5. Transgender Studies Quarterly journal launched

Via dukeupress.edu

“TSQ aims to be the journal of record for the rapidly emerging field of transgender studies. The inaugural issue, 'Postposttranssexual: Key Concepts for a 21st-Century Transgender Studies,' pays homage to Sandy Stone's field-defining 'Posttranssexual Manifesto' and assesses where the field is now and where it seems to be heading. Comprising over eighty short essays by authors ranging from graduate students to senior scholars, the issue takes on such topics as biopolitics, disability, political economy, childhood, trans-of-color critique, area studies, translation, pathologization, the state, and animal studies.” —Duke University Press

#notyourcisgendermothersqueertheory

6. Zachary Drucker & Rhys Ernst's Relationship in 2014 Whitney Biennial

Luis de Jesus gallery / Via luisdejesus.com

“For the 2014 Biennial, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst present three collaborative projects. Ernst is a director and filmmaker; Drucker’s work as an artist spans photography, film, and performance. The photographs on view on the Museum’s third floor, Relationship, are an intimate and diaristic record of their relationship as a transgender couple whose bodies are transitioning in opposite directions (for Drucker from male to female, and for Ernst from female to male). […] In Drucker’s words, ‘Our bodies are a microcosm of the greater external world as it shifts to a more polymorphous spectrum of sexuality. We are all collectively morphing and transforming together, and this is just one story of an opposite-oriented transgender couple living in Los Angeles, the land of industrialized fantasy.” —Whitney.org

7. Dear Lou Sullivan

Rhys Ernst

“This new work by LA-based artist Rhys Ernst invokes the story of Lou Sullivan, trans man and AIDS activist largely responsible for establishing the distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation. Cut with images of Ernst’s own examination of this figure and trans history, the video is structured by the search for and desire to identify transmasculine elders and an intergenerational exploration of gay transmasculine identity. Utilizing interview footage, excerpts of Sullivan’s book 'Information for the Female-to-Male Crossdresser and Transsexual,' VHS gay porn, and Grindr chats, Dear Lou Sullivan is a meditation on the life of the late trans man and AIDS activist that explores the bodily intersection of transmasculine gay and HIV+ identity."

Part of Visual AIDS’ Alternate Endings “new video program for the 25th anniversary of Day With(out) Art, featuring provocative work about the ongoing HIV/AIDS pandemic, focusing on the issues of today.” —Visualaids.org

8. Flawless Sabrina Archives

Via flawless-sabrina.com

This year, artist Zackary Drucker and writer/archivist Diana Tourjee launched Flawless Sabrina Archive!

FSA Mission Statement:

"Flawless Sabrina Archive’s mission is to preserve the lifework of Flawless Sabrina as a resource for artists, activists, and scholars. The research and documentation conducted by FSA will be used to incite intergenerational discourse for the benefit of current movements in the arts and politics. The collection will be regularly shown and made available to the public. It is the foundation of the organization’s expanding scope, inspiring future projects in order to continue the work of our namesake indefinitely. Flawless Sabrina Archive resides at the convergence of the past and present in countercultural subject matter, enriching society through the documentation of history and the empowerment of difference.

"The archive includes film, sculpture, writing, photography, painting, and music. Much, but not all of these works were produced by Flawless Sabrina. Some are by other notable artists who she has collaborated with. John Waters, Norman Mailer, William Burroughs, Andy Warhol, and Diane Arbus are some of Flawless Sabrina’s contemporaries whose collaborative work is found in this archive. FSA also includes a significant amount of work by modern artists such as Luke Gilford, Wu Tsang, Michelle Handelman, Zackary Drucker, and Curtis Carman. Together, their work provides additional context for Flawless Sabrina as an influential and important figure in the second half of the twentieth century and into the 21st."


At home with queer icon Flawless Sabrina
— DazedDigital.com

9. "Greer Lankton: LOVE ME” retrospective at Participant INC.

Via participantinc.org

In November and December 2014, New York gallery Participant INC. presented the retrospective of a too-short career, Greer Lankton: LOVE ME. This exhibition, organized in cooperation with the Greer Lankton Archives Museum (G.L.A.M.) and curated by Lia Gangitano, is the first major New York solo exhibition of Lankton’s work since her death in 1996. The exhibition presented the scope of Lankton’s work and included close to a hundred of her dolls, photographs, and works on paper.

The Artist and the Work, Both Intricate and Fluid: ‘Greer Lankton,’ a Retrospective at Participant Inc. by Holland Cotter for the New York Times

10. Dirty Looks NYC's year of trans programming

Butchers' Vogue / Charles Atlas / Via dirtylooksnyc.org

"We were thrilled to present five decades of trans experience in moving image art this year—kicking off with Charles Atlas's Butchers' Vogue, shot at Florent diner, and Extraordinary Pregnancies, Chris E. Vargas's revisionist film portrait of Thomas Beattie in our Dirty Looks NYC: Three Years group program.

"Our February screening of Les Intrigues de Sylvia Couski (1974) starred famed Parisian transsexual and founding member of FHAR (Homosexual Front for Revolutionary Action) Marie France.

"In June we collaborated with MOTHA and Northside Festival for a screening of Rosa Von Praunheim's divisive document of trans culture in the late 90s, Transsexual Menace (1996), in an evening introduced by Justin Vivian Bond.

"And in September we rolled out the multi-platform Check Your Vernacular—an exhibition, catalogue, roaming panel, and performance program, which featured dynamic time-based artwork from Dynasty Handbag, Narcissister, Colin Self and Chris E. Vargas!" —Dirty Looks

11. Transient art show in West Hollywood

Via transientexhibition.org

Transient, curated by Kean O’Brien, “is a curated group show that develops ideas about sharing and recognizing visibility within and outside of the transgender community. Built inside two U-Haul trucks, the show creates a space where trans/queer work can be seen in relationship to each other, instead of reconstructing that familiar space of opposition to the Other. The project brings awareness to predicated perceptions of our transgender lives and practice with cultural and historical relevance. Transient was first created and curated in 2011 as part of Kean's MFA thesis project, and this past November the City of West Hollywood generously funded another iteration.” —Transient Exhibition.org

Artists featured in the exhibition include Niv Acosta, Heather Cassils, Zackary Drucker, Pilar Gallego, Yishay Garbasz, Nicki Green, Jules Gimbrone, Laub, Madsen Minax, Finn Paul, and Oli Rodriguez.

Writers featured in the exhibition publication include Ryka Aoki, Samuel Ace, Morgan Bassichis, Ching-In Chen, Joy Ladin, Zoe Tuck, Rachel Pollack, Dean Spade, Jai Arun Ravine, Alexander Lee, Taylor Xavier, Quito Ziegler, and Jae. Edited By Emerson Whitney

12. Moving Trans* History Forward conference & The Transgender Archives: Foundations for the Future book — University of Victoria B.C.

Via transgenderarchives.uvic.ca

Moving Trans* History Forward is a three-day symposium hosted by the University of Victoria’s Transgender Archives, March 21 - 23, 2014, focusing on the trends and issues surrounding the acquisition, preservation and access to transgender history in archives and libraries. In addition to encouraging greater use of the University of Victoria's Transgender Archives by a broader community, the symposium aims to provide a historical and archival context to trans* people, while promoting acceptance of trans* people and assisting researchers and archivists in understanding trans issues.

"The symposium will be held at the University of Victoria, with 2 days of panel discussions around the politics and processes of maintaining and acquiring trans* archives and special collections; as well as outreach and community partnerships with transgender collections.

"As the largest collection of transgender archival materials in the world, the Transgender Archives at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada is a unique and invaluably rich collection of resources to learn about the complexity of human gender variance. Written by Founder and Academic Director of the Transgender Archives, Aaron Devor, and published by the University of Victoria Libraries, The Transgender Archives: Foundations for the Future showcases and celebrates the transgender history found at the Transgender Archives. The Transgender Archives: Foundations for the Future provides historical context for the collections, from the 19th century to the present day, recounting the origins of the Transgender Archives and highlighting its range of books, periodicals, personal papers, organizational records, media and ephemera.” —TransgenderArchives.uvic.ca

13. Made In LA 2014 at the Hammer Museum

Via hammer.ucla.edu

“The Hammer's biennial exhibition Made in L.A. 2014 features works by 35 Los Angeles artists with an emphasis on emerging and under-recognized artists. It debuts recent work and new painting, installation, video, sculpture, photography, and performances created specifically for the exhibition.” —Hammer.UCLA.edu

Notable queer and transgender artists featured in the exhibition included Wu Tsang, Harry Dodge, A.L. Steiner, and Mariah Garnett.

14. Happy Birthday, Marsha—a film by Reina July and Sasha Wortzel

Via kickstarter.com

As of August 2014 this successfully crowd-funded project is a go!

"Happy Birthday, Marsha! tells the story of legendary best friends, Marsha 'Pay it No Mind' Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, and the bold everyday decisions they made that helped spark the 1969 Stonewall riots." —Kickstarter.com

15. Rich Kitchen by Geo Wyeth (Wild Flesh Productions)

Via geoxxxwyeth.tumblr.com

"I am releasing my tape Rich Kitchen in Jan 2015 on Cammissa Buerhaus's Wild Flesh Productions. Rich Kitchen is a short album of songs (in a constellation of related works) meant to evoke the world of a musician and exhibitionist named Kitchen Steve, who is in a band with a puppet. I have been working on Kitchen Steve as a project for the entire duration of 2014." —Geo Wyeth

16. Towards the Death of Cinema by Malic Amalya

Via malicamalya.com

"Towards the Death of Cinema is a celluloid performance that allows audience members to take in the individual photograph of the film frame for longer than 1/24th of a second at the expense of the integrity of the image. Cutting off the sprocket holes located on the edge of the frame, the projector’s inherent movement forward is bypassed. By allowing the film to warp in the heat of the projector, the audience is also given the rare opportunity to savor the destruction of film. If, as Paulo Cherchi Usai argues, 'cinema is the art of destroying moving images,'* Towards the Death expedites this inherent process before the eyes of the viewing audience." —Malic Amalya

*The Death of Cinema: History, Cultural Memory, and the Digital Dark Age, 2000

16mm performance, 30 minutes, 2014

with a live musical score by Nathan Hill

30 minutes, 2014

17. Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives

Via artactivistnia.com

In this collection of interviews with QTAOC (Queer Trans Artists of Color!), Nia King “discusses fat burlesque with Magnoliah Black, queer fashion with Kiam Marcelo Junio, interning at Playboy with Janet Mock, dating gay Latino Republicans with Julio Salgado, intellectual hazing with Kortney Ryan Ziegler, gay gentrification with Van Binfa, getting a book deal with Virgie Tovar, the politics of black drag with Micia Mosely, evading deportation with Yosimar Reyes, weird science with Ryka Aoki, gay public sex in Africa with Nick Mwaluko, thin privilege with Fabian Romero, the tyranny of 'self-care' with Lovemme Corazón, 'selling out' with Miss Persia and Daddie$ Pla$tik, the self-employed art activist hustle with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarsinha, and much, much more." —Nia King

18. Niv Acosta’s "i shot denzel" made its world premiere at New York Live Arts

ian Douglas / Via nivacosta.com

“A culmination of almost 4 years of work on the denzel series, 'i shot denzel' is the sixth and potentially final work in the series—a solo where I am joined onstage by nine musicians and singers including my mother. denzel has represented black masculine identity in performance, as seen from my perspective as a queer trans-masculine identified young black person. I’m working with many ideas that continue to interest me such as death, grieving through sound experiences, original philosophical text, voguing, and fear. Exploring these avenues in my work has been educational in terms of answering larger questions for myself: How do I navigate being transgender in dance? Identifying as black in dance? Identifying as queer in dance? And not always be defiant or 'challenging’? I am interested in creating space and visibility for myself and others who identify similarly. The topics that remain challenged in 'i shot denzel' are normativity, complacency, and impossibility.” —Niv Acosta

19. Transfigure —Book, Film, and Photographic Installation by Leon Mostovoy

Via leonmostovoy.com

"Transfigure is a project of corporal self-expression, presented as an experimental, visual feast. A celebration of bodies that transcend the gender binary.

"The full project includes a book as a companion piece to the video. The models were photographed in a paper doll stance, with the images separated in three places to create the look of an old-time children's mix-and-match book.

"The imagery portrays the complexity of gender and bodies and the ways in which these combinations may be surprising. In representing gender variant people/bodies, my intent is to illustrate that gender, sex, sexuality, presentation, and attraction are separate and, though they may intermingle at times, society/people should not assume that we are constrained by predictable versions of these variables." —Leon Mostovoy

20. Cooper Lee Bombardier

Via cooperleebombardier.com

“In 2014, writer and artist Cooper Lee Bombardier earned his MFA in Creative Writing/Nonfiction. He gave a paper called 'Preaching the Perverted: Why I chose to teach a term on writings about drug addicts, queers, and anonymous sex,' as part of 'Rewriting the University: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Writing in the College Classroom,' a panel at the Thinking As a Way of Life conference of the University of Victoria's interdisciplinary Cultural, Social and Political Thought Program. He also presented a paper at the University of Winnipeg's historic Writing Trans Genres: Emergent Literatures and Criticism conference on a panel he organized called 'Teaching Trans Writers.' He gave a reading as part of the Winnipeg conference with Ryka Aoki, Tom Leger, and several other trans lit luminaries. In 2014 he gave a lot of readings and performed with his alma mater, Sister Spit. Cooper's writing was published in CutBank and in the Lambda Literary Review. He taught writing as an adjunct professor at Portland State University, and taught a queer/trans writing class online via LitReactor, as well as landed teaching jobs in 2015 through Portland State University, the University of Portland, and with high school students through a residency with Literary Arts' Writers In The Schools program. 2014 marks twenty years for Cooper of writing, performing, and showing visual art as an out transgender writer and artist.” —Cooper Lee Bombardier

21. TRANS TIME : First International Trans Artist Show In Montréal

Via transtime.ca

“Presented by curator Ianna Book in collaboration with Marie-Claude G. Olivier and Virginie Jourdain, the TRANS TIME exhibition is a space of visibility bringing together local and international trans* artists, all of whom contribute to the growth of trans culture, which should be understood as artistic productions, forms, representations, and political advocacy by and for trans* persons. As the first collective trans exhibition in Montreal, TRANS TIME demands visibility and sharing of trans culture."

Participating artists Alec Butler, Amos Mac, C. W. & Z. F., Heather Cassils, Ianna Book, JJ Levine, J’vlyn D’ark , Kama La Mackerel, Kris Grey, Leon Mostovoy, Morgan Sea, Raphaële Frignon, Rémy Huberdeau, Rhys Ernst, Sam B. Atman / Bruce, Yishay Garbasz, and Zackary Drucker. All artists “are (re)defining their bodies and their identities in the collective psyche. By exploring various media, like video, photography, drawing, or performance, these artists illustrate their social, political and cultural experiences according to a diversity of paths and opinions.”

TransTime.ca

22. Jonah Groeneboer

bent hip. 2014. Thread and three brass bars. 7ft x 2ft x 3ft / Via jonahgroeneboer.com

“Jonah Groeneboer continued his project of creating new forms and spatial models that are inclusive of transgender experience through human-scale abstract sculpture. This body of work was written about in "Queer Formalisms: Jennifer Doyle and David Getsy in Conversation" in Art Journal, and was also supported through dedicated time and space at the Fire Island Artist Residency.” —Jonah Groeneboer

23. Jennifer Katherine Shields

Sam Hartnett / Via artspace.org.nz

“I had a piece in an exhibition in one of the larger art galleries in the country. The exhibition, titled W.E.L.C.O.M.E , was about social norms and challenging those, and, though I can't be certain, I'm relatively sure I was the first trans woman to be exhibited in the space (Artspace NZ).

"The piece I created was a sculpture accompanying a research text/essay about power relations, using the image of a Victorian bar.” —Jennifer Katherine Shields

24. Emmett Ramstad

Via emmettramstad.com

“As an artist, my great accomplishment for the year was a solo show and body of work called Knowing You Unknown.

Knowing You Unknown explores intimate banality through sculptural representations of undergarments and dresser drawers. This exhibition asks how we are unique, what constitutes intimacy and how we document our differences.” —Emmett Ramstad

25. You’re Dead To Me—a short film directed by Wu Tsang wins Imagen Award

Via instagram.com

You’re Dead To Me 2014, 13min

“As she prepares to receive family members on an important anniversary, a mother cooks, cleans, and fights with her teen over unresolved differences that left them estranged. The argument reveals some rifts in their relationship and resolves itself in an unexpected and touching climax.”

Watch short film on PBS.org

26. Jay Very

Via WildcardxFaust.com

Very got accepted into the PhD Human Sexuality program at California Institute of Integral Studies, became the esteemed Dr. Jamison Green's research assistant, and was awarded a $1,000 grant by the Queer Cultural Center to produce the rock opera WildcardxFaust about a transmasculine sex worker.

“I would also like to acknowledge the success of Dr. Jamison Green who became a professor at California Institute of Integral Studies and is teaching a required course called the Transgender Experience for the PhD in Human Sexuality.

"I would also like to acknowledge the success of Apaulo Hart, a leathercraftsman, illustrator, aerial artist and tattoo artist, for his artwork.” —Jay Very

27. Tobaron Waxman Curatorial Projects

Liad Hussein Kantorowicz "Watch Me Work" Cologne, 2014. Photo Tobaron Waxman / Via tobaron.com

OBJECT BODY - UNEXPECTEDLY ECSTATIC (Brooklyn, January 2014)

“I’m thinking about movement and agency as a red thread between three motion/movement-based performances. Additionally, OBJECT-BODY: UNEXPECTEDLY ECSTATIC seeks to cross-genre pollinate, as a way to grow new audiences and support artists at critical moments in the process of developing an artwork.

“New movement/dance performance works will be performed by

Leslie Freeman (burlesque & human anomaly/sideshow artist, and disability activist), Kenya Robinson (visual artist). Jesse Zaritt (dancer/choreographer)

“Each of these artists has a gestural, live art practice which includes unique relationships to fixity, to objects and to motivity.” —curator Tobaron Waxman

WATCH ME WORK - WOMEN, LABOUR AND QUEER ECONOMIES (Cologne, Germany. September 2014)

"WATCH ME WORK: WOMEN AND QUEER ECONOMIES presents experiences and strategies of a spectrum of female experiences as a method of inquiry to explore ways in which diverse capitalisms and multiple economies can be gendered The exhibition is transdisciplinary and intergenerational, welcoming a range of approaches, including video, sound art, text and live networked performance. Artists include filmmaker Negar Tahsili (Iran), textile artist Dorothea Bohde (Germany), sound/text/graphic artist Terre Thaemlitz (Japan), and live networked sex work performance by activist and artist Liad Hussein Kantorowicz (Israel/Palestine)."

Tobaron was the Akademie der Künste der Welt in Cologne Fellow for 2014, nominated by Terre Thaemlitz and awarded by unanimous jury. With the generous support of the Akademie der Künste der Welt and Canada Council on the Arts, Tobaron developed projects with Queer and trans co-conspirators in 2014 in Hong Kong, Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Weimar, Paris, Estonia, Krems and Istanbul." —curator Tobaron Waxman

28. The INTERGENERATIONAL LGBT ARTIST RESIDENCY at Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto, Canada.

Via queerartistresidency.tumblr.com

The organiser Tobaron Waxman is proud to say, “Our partner is Artscape Gibraltar Point, the artist residency, organic vegetable garden and retreat centre nestled on the Toronto Island, on the sacred land of Mississaugua First Nation, near the clothing optional beaches of Hanlan’s Point. 2014 was the second triumphant summer of the residency. In 2014, three of the five artists selected by the esteemed jury were trans: Micha Cardenas, Syrus Marcus Ware, Alec Butler.” And “if enough funds are raised this winter, the residency will be held again in late July-early August 2015."

"Created by artist and curator Tobaron Waxman, as a combined curatorial, relational/live art, and sociopolitical praxis, The Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency is the first of its kind for LGBTQ visual artists. Full room, board and studio space is provided to a juried group of five LGBTQ artists. Critically acclaimed artists, curators, as well as collectors and art historians from the LGBTQ communities are invited guests of the residency, enjoying meals prepared by the five residents who then immerse in on-on-one studio visits together, within the community the residency generates. The aim of The Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency is to help create a vision and experience of Queer longevity through shared practice, art career management training, and community building." —Tobaron Waxman

29. Trans_ An Anthology of Trans People & the Internet

Via transontheinter.net

"Trans_ is the first anthology to collect the voices and experiences of trans people speaking to how the Internet has impacted our lives and how we have impacted the Internet. Publication expected in spring 2016." —Transontheinter.net

Editors: Mitch Kellaway, nina malaya, Harlan Kellaway

30. Show Trans by Elliott DeLine

Via elliottdeline.bigcartel.com

Show Trans, published October 2014, is a nonfiction novel by Elliott DeLine about sex addiction, sex work, navigating the MSM scene, a trip West, dissociative identity disorder, and the struggle to find love, connection, and self-actualization as a non-binary trans person.

31. Transgress Press

Via transgresspress.org

Writer and editor Mitch Kellaway and trans scholar Trystan Cotton have spent two years running this small indie press, intentionally focusing the majority of their efforts on trans writers & topics.

“This year, in particular, we've released two groundbreaking anthologies:

Letters for My Sisters: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect, in which 35 trans women write life advice to other trans women or to their younger selves, and Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family & Themselves, in which 27 trans men write about their intersections of identities & roles in families, communities, & how they support each other.” —Mitch Kellaway

32. “We Cannot Live Without Our Lives: A Conversation on Anti-Blackness, Trans Resistance and Prison Abolition"

Via viddler.com

The panel “We Cannot Live Without Our Lives: A Conversation on Anti-Blackness, Trans Resistance and Prison Abolition" took place at at UC San Diego in November. Panelists included CeCe McDonald, Reina Gossett, Janetta Johnson, and Miss Major. It was moderated by Eric A. Stanley.


Listen to AUDIO

33. PASSAGE & PLACE

Via lexnonscripta.com

“PASSAGE & PLACE is a multimedia visual arts exhibition, book project, and skillshare series that explores displacement & movement, freedom & incarceration, and home & im/migration at the intersection of queerness.

"Contributors from the outside include: Annah Anti-Palindrome, Banah Ghadbian, Becka Shertzer, Chrystal Sunshine, Claire Urbanski, Crystal Azul Barajas Barr, Devi Lockwood, Gabrielle Wilson-Sealy, Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, Henriette Hellstern-Kjoller, Holly Heart, Jacks McNamara, Jamie Ross, Kat Marie Yaos, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Lex Non Scripta, Mahfam Malek, maria mitsopoulou, mihee-nathalie lemoine, Nafis White, Nazbah Tom, Paradise Khanmalek, Sailor Holladay, Veronica Stein, and Virgie Tovar.

"As part of reaching beyond walls, we partnered with the TGIJP (Transgender | Gender Variant | Intersex Justice Project) and Black & Pink to send the Passage & Place call for submissions to currently incarcerated LGBTQI folks. We received over 100 letters, poems, and artwork**!

"A collection of these letters and images has been bound and printed into an anthology released in conjunction with the Passage & Place exhibition at the National Queer Arts Festival, 2014. All participants from the inside will receive a free copy of the finished book. The anthology is a limited edition, short run book featuring 125 artists and writers. It’s 172 pages and features an 8 page color centerfold.” —Lex Non Scripta

34. “Futures of Abolition: Trans and Queer Resistance Against the Prison Industrial Complex”

Via one.usc.edu

A panel discussion took place on November 5th at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles with Reina Gossett, Janetta Johnson, CeCe McDonald, Miss Major, and Eric A. Stanley participating.

"Bringing together formerly incarcerated trans women of color, activist, and artists, this panel thinks through histories and futures of prison abolitionist organizing. Trans, queer, and gender non-conforming people, particularly those of color and/or low income, inhabit a long history – lived in the present – of criminalization, pathologization, and murder by the prison industrial complex. This discussion seeks to highlight strategies to grow cultures of resistance where safety is built in struggle and not through state intervention. Collectively we will imagine a world beyond prisons where gender self-determination flourishes in the ashes of empire." —ONE Archives

35. Gordon Hall

Via foxyproduction.com

NEVER ODD OR EVEN, Gordon Hall’s inaugural solo exhibition in New York, applies an unconventional logic to the language of abstraction. Hall’s palindromic title points to the artist’s interest in a cycle of readings, back and forth as it were, and in objects (here letters) as both things in themselves and as transmitters of meaning. The exhibition explores precision and subtle difference, and the ambiguity that can lie between or within objects. The exhibition highlights relations between bodies and objects both in terms of the artist’s use of their body in producing the work, and of the perceptions of the viewer within the space: how objects conjure spatial relations, embedded memories, color perceptions, or potential actions.”

Press Release

Also by Gordon Hall:

The Center for Experimental Lectures was hosted by the Whitney Museum of American Art during the 2014 Biennial.

Take Ecstasy With Me—Artists Reflect on the Work of José Esteban Muñoz” Organized in collaboration with Miguel Gutierrez and Alexandro Segade on April 17 in conjunction with the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

Object Lessons—Thinking Gender Variance Through Minimalist SculptureArt Journal 72.4

36. FLEX—a group show curated by Orlando Tirado

Via kentfineart.net

FLEX presents the shape, mass, and form of the body in relation to an emerging queer, transgender, renegade post-minimalist strategy that strips the body of its flesh, framework, and constraints. The exhibition includes new work by Math Bass, Dan Finsel, Gordon Hall, and Molly Lowe, alongside works by Richard Artschwager, James Lee Byars, Guy de Cointet, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Morris, and Myron Stout.

"The project offers a radical alternative to presupposed identity politics, one that re-defines the body against the grain of a representational impulse, and posits a new vision of the contemporary body through absence, movement, fluctuation, and abstraction, rather than concrete, figurative depiction. The work anticipates the body’s physical presence; the body activates. The work slows down time and speaks through silence.”

"The exhibition is accompanied by a folio of collected texts, with a limited-edition sticker by Carlo Quispe and a poster by Brica Wilcox. Contributors to the publication include: Mario Bellatin, Cat Kron, David Getsy, Aimee Goguen, the Center for Experimental Lectures, and Michael Lipkin, among others.

"A performance by Gordon Hall, titled STAND AND, took place in conjunction with the exhibition at an off-site location.”

Kent Fine Art

37. "Redshift and Portalmetal: Femme Science Findings" performance by micha cárdenas

võ thiên việt / Via michacardenas.org

“'Redshift and Portalmetal' asks: as climate change forces us to travel to the stars and build new homes and families, how do we build on this land, where we are settlers, while working to undo colonization? The story uses space travel as a lens through which to understand the experience of migration and settlement for a trans woman of color. 'Redshift and Portalmetal' points to possibilities of post-digital, post-media, and decolonial approaches to communication.

"The project takes the form of an online, interactive game, including film, performance and poetry. I designed the interaction, wrote the text, performed the movement, and coordinated the filming in Los Angeles and Toronto."

"Redshift and Portalmetal" was performed at the opening night of HTMlles 2015, a feminist new media festival in Montreal. —michacárdenas.org

38. Kay Bear Koss

Otilia Pelyva Photography / Via Facebook: otilia.pelyva

"Kay Bear Koss is an artist, writer and musician and who has worked with community-based non-profit organisations and arts projects in several different countries over the past fifteen years.

"Kay has tried to use her status as an openly transgender, professional woman to help mainstream trans identity and raise awareness of trans rights and issues in Ireland and in the larger European art community. During 2014 she has taken part in a well-received documentary on Irish TV3 (My Transgender Journey) and produced a solo exhibition exploring the subjective internality and externality of being trans, as an MFA alumnus of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland (It Looks Like / It Appears To Be / An Inside Job).

"As one of the founding directors, she has recently relocated to Spain to expand IMOCA [imoca.ie] from the 'Irish' to the 'Independent' Museum of Contemporary Art, to expand their institutional vision of a decentralised, artist-led institution with integrated satellite galleries and artist facilities in various countries." —Kay Bear Koss

40. Alec Butler

Tobaron Waxman for Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency / Via alecbutler.com

"I underwent 40 days of mourning for most of the Summer of 2014, a revolutionary act in the face of our denial of death in western, Settler culture that is antithetical to my First Nations identity. 'Mourning Lodge' embraces my spirituality, and my role as 'Whitewolf,' a healer who accepts death as part of life, that grief is just another way to love. Traditionally 2Spirit people have been for centuries intimately connected to the two gateways of life, birth and death. Acknowledging my 2Spirit name has been invaluable in my own healing journey, and as an Elder-in-training in the queer community. Mourning Lodge was supported by the Intergenerational LGBT Artists Residency.

"This past year my first novella, Rough Paradise, was published by Quattro Books. It is a story about growing up queer in a violent, unwelcoming world. It is also a love story between Terry, whose intersex condition is wreaking havoc with their puberty, and Darla, a young queer woman who is dealing with a serious crisis of her own. Both incur the wrath of their communities when they fall in love and begin to explore their queer sexuality. The novella received an NNN review in NOW Magazine in July of 2014.

"As I leave this year behind I look forward to the year ahead of finishing my new film My Friend Brindley.” —Alec Butler

41. Transparency: The Gender Identity Project by Daphne Chan

"The Flawless Sabrina with Jack Doroshow and Rami Shamir" Daphne Chan / Via daphnechanphoto.com

"Daphne Chan delved into communal taboos of populations that rankle social precepts such as the gender identity of genderqueer: a person who identifies as a gender other than “man” or “woman”. The commonality is that all genderqueer people reject the notion that there are only two genders in the world as they believe binary gender is a social construct. They may also transition socially, or they may continue to dress and go by the pronouns of their assigned gender but reject any gender system as a valid method of classifying individuals.

Daphne is working on a visual depiction of the LGBT and genderqueer community of New York that is unique and much needed. There is still a lack of visibility of specific identities and uncovering these identities will challenge the common stereotypes for what certain identities are expected to look like. It’s a powerful statement in visibility and diversity.

The goal of Transparency: The Gender Identity Project is to celebrate and encourage the expansion and public awareness of queer fluid expression." —Daphne Chan

42. Tranzister Radio

Via Tranzister.tumblr.com

"Tranzister Radio is a monthly Trans 4 Trans talk show on CKUT 90.3fm in Montreal. Tranzister aims to amplify the voices of trans people and celebrate trans cultural production. The show is regularly hosted by Morgan Sea and Raphaële Frigon, as well as a rotating cast of nifty trans folks. In December aired its 31st episode, and just this year of 2014 has had 31 amazing trans folk on the air!

"This year we also launched our first publication, a tiny zine called Paper Radio (a tie-in to our Audio-Zine episode) and host 3 reading events, Trans Women Writers' Nights, showcasing local and touring trans lady authors. All 31 episodes are available for download and streaming on our website tranzister.tumblr.com" —Morgan Sea

43. The TransJenner Tipping Point

AP Mark Von Holden / Via i.huffpost.com

To close out this year-end list, I present to you, thorough reader, Bruce Jenner. This ex-Olympian and ex-Kardashian has received nothing but disrespectful speculation about their transgressive gender this year. To Bruce I say—whichever direction you're heading, honey—MOTHA has your back! To all those snarky and transphobic gossip rags, #leaveJENNERalone!

Happy 2015!

Sincerely,

Chris E. Vargas

Executive Director, Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art

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