Michael James O'Brian: Assembling Gender
May 1 - July 23, 1993
Stuart Anthony and Papo Colo
Assembling Gender is a series of photographs of men and women in drag and butch drag taken by Michael James O'Brien over the last three years. The photographs were taken in New York, Paris, London, Berlin, Rio de Janiero, Miami, and Los Angeles. They range from outdoor photographs of men and women celebrating Carnival in Rio, Halloween in Los Angeles and Wigstock in New York, to more intimate portraits of his subjects in their homes.
The striking images of people in drag confront the viewer with the reality that one's identity: male and female, straight and gay is not fixed or exclusive. Drag is seen as a revolutionary act that points to the transformative power that an individual has over one's identity, by creating his or her own persona. These adaptations of 'flexible identities' create a type of cultural pressure that subverts the status quo by coexisting with the attitudes, dress codes and consciousness of different collective groups in our metropolises, confirming the vitality of the spectrum of identities in contemporary public life.
Exhibit Archive | 92-93 Calender