A series of photographs titled One day of trans* life captures moments during twenty-four hours of trans* persons, but also portraits their desires, striving and perception of the society and the world they live in. The photographs symbolize the subjective experience of everyday life and real challenges members of trans* community are facing in Serbia.
Anđela Petrovski, Marija Vidović, Kosta Đuraković and Nikša Herman, together with their models, were researching the fields of corporal, body, binary oppositions, exposed the question of the social construction of gender and grounding of gender identity, thus offering their own perceptions and understandings of the problems of trans* community. This is not just an art project: the photographs provide an intimate insight to life and world of trans* persons, their constant self-(re)questioning, and questioning of their own position within the system, closed and excluding for every otherness.
Each of three sets of photographs (ten per each set) follows one person; photographs are different in style and type. Although they have different subjects, pervading elements (a program-less screen, the moment were three subjects come together) merge them in one whole, which is at the same time (re)presentation and metaphorical portrait of trans* community.
Rajka, Nikša Herman and Kosta Đuraković, and Štefica and Anđela Petrovski through their two series of photographs show the current condition and isolation of trans* persons. Parts of Rajka’s and Štefica’s photos were made in the apartments, in the space where they spend most of their time, due to limited freedom of movement. The light on Rajka’s photographs is faint, but the mixture of colors, light and motives is almost paradoxical – at the same time, they respire with melancholy and life. Their homes are the centers of happenings, places of gatherings, a collective point of desires, rethinking and sources of new ideas and actions. While Anđela uses documentary approach to picture the intimate moment of Štefica’s physical and psychological transformation, Nikša places Rajka in the public space, which he skillfully uses to metaphorically draw relations between socially-political system and trans* community as its composing part.
Marija Vujović made with Ana an ironical game of gender identity and the need for rejection and overcoming the given norms and binary oppositions. Ana coquets with gender expression and fluid gender position, thus completely banalizing them, pushing them to the edge of the absurdity. Photographs Marija and Ana made together are an expression of serious social critique, additionally stressing the social constructiveness of gender identity. Marija has chosen to projects on Ana’s body different social contexts placing any individual within strict gender frames, thus achieving the impression of unconscious and violent engraftment of given social norms in the very human body.
After all the photographers finished their work, on all three groups of photographs could be found a program-less television screen. The fact that it was created unconsciously, maybe by accident, while photographers were getting to know their models additionally points out to the problem of lack of visibility of trans* community in the public space, insufficient media presence and their limited possibility to speak out.
We thank Ivana Ogrizović for providing the photography of child birth.
© Egal, 2015.