The presenting artists experiment with ways to tackle the two-way dilemma of how to appear to others and how to see others -- with the dizzying sense that the positions of ‘you’ and ‘me’ might be exchangeable. As trans artists, Cassils, Zackary Drucker and Gray Wielebinski raise issues around marginalisation and violence, gender and gentleness, through formal invocations of hardness and softness, while Nan Goldin’s work challenges the visual objectification of sex engaged by different kinds of lovers.
Through critical engagement with dominant ways of seeing and being seen, the multi-disciplinary display of film, photography, sculpture and performance seeks to empower communities that historically have been stigmatised. It’s Not Me, It’s You reminds us of the vulnerability of being physically present in the world and answers with radical tenderness.
Born in Canada, Cassils graduated with MFA from California Institute of Arts. Listed by the Huffington Post as “one of ten transgender artists who are changing the landscape of contemporary art”, Cassils has achieved international recognition for a rigorous engagement with the body as a form of social sculpture.
Zackary Drucker, is a trans woman performance artist and a cultural producer who challenges the way gender and sexuality is understood. Having performed and exhibited at Whitney Biennial, MoMA PS1, Hammer Museum among others, she has also produced Emmy-nominated docu-series This Is Me and Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Transparent.
Since the age of 15, Nan Goldin started photographing her friends in the transgender community of Boston and after graduating from Tufts University, she started forming her seminal series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (1980-86) portraying abuse in relationships (including her own) and drug addiction. Her personal relationship to the subjects who are often her friends, add the realness and genuineness to the scenes in the images.
Gray Wielebinski is a multi-disciplinary artist implementing collage, sculpture, installation and performance into their work. Gray explores gender, sexuality and control over the physical body through their work, often questioning modes of power and identity. Graduating from Slade in MFA in 2018, Wielebinski has been continuously vocalising the disagreement of physical and inner self and how creativity can be therapeutic in allowing artists to explore their own questions but also engage with a wider audience who can relate.
The exhibition will run alongside Decorative Sacredness, the first solo show of Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich displayed on the ground floor of the gallery.