Trans*cendence, Callen-Lorde’s annual reception for trans* and gender non-conforming communities, friends and allies will be held on October 1st this year, honoring photographer, writer, and co-founder of Original Plumbing Amos Mac, alongside celebrated writer, artist, and DJ, Juliana Huxtable, for their contributions to increasing visibility and promoting wellness of transgender and gender non-conforming people.
Amos Mac lives and works in New York as a photographer, writer and publisher.
His images have been featured in The New York Times, Interview, Vogue Italia, BUTT Magazine, Capricious, RANDY and OUT, amongst other publications. As a writer Mac has contributed to his self-published titles (Original Plumbing and Translady Fanzine), as well as to Candy and The Huffington Post. Amos Mac’s work has been featured in group shows at venues including The San Francisco Public Library, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Gensler San Francisco, Munch Gallery (NY), Splatterpool (NY), and Leslie/Lohman Gallery (NY).
In 2009 Mac and Rocco Kayiatos co-founded Original Plumbing; the seminal quarterly publication documenting the culture of transgender men. Informational and entertaining at once, OP has featured interviews with, and portraits of Geo Wyeth, Margaret Cho, Ian Harvie, Austin Bjorkman, Kate Bornstein, Silas Howard and many others. In addition to editing and publishing, Mac has photographed the majority of Original Plumbing‘s content.
Recent notable projects include a collaboration with Los Angeles-based performance artist Zackary Drucker. Initiated by Mac, a series of portraits taken in Drucker’s Upstate New York childhood home formed the content of the first issue of his publication Translady Fanzine. An alternative selection of the images was exhibited in 2011 as Distance is Where the Heart is, Home is Where you Hang Your Heart, at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
Juliana Huxtable was born in Bryan-College Station, Texas, in 1987. She attended Bard College where she studied art, gender studies, and human rights. In her work, Huxtable explores the interwovenness of race, gender, queerness, and identity. She uses a range of outlets to unpack these themes including self-portraiture, text-based prints, performance, nightlife, music, writing, and social media. She considers technology and the rise of the internet to be an essential component to her work for the ways these tools can reveal and conceal histories and grant freedom and sanctuary to our previously repressed thoughts and sentiments. Her modes of expression are interchangeable, which is reflected in her musical arrangements and performance art. “Whether inserting her own image in landscapes inspired by the African American religious sect Nuwaubian Nation or including the iconic ‘Protest’ section of the jazz album We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite (1960) in a DJ set, Huxtable critiques existing social norms and categorical distinctions while indicating alternate, more hopeful possibilities” (Untitled in the Rage (Nibiru Cataclysm), Guggenheim, New York, NY.)
Huxtable’s visual art references her own body and history as she examines socio-political issues. The series Seven Archetypes (2012–13) delves into the artist’s experience of transitioning in multiple ways as well as the ideologies that inform the way we experience and authenticate gender and sexuality. In Untitled (For Stewart) (2012), a work that incorporates one of Huxtable’s prosaic texts, the artist revisits her childhood through the analysis of video game avatars and the coded sexism therein. History (Period Piece) (2013), another work in the series, is a digitally alter photograph that features the artist staring intently at the viewer whilst sat before a tapestry, referencing colonial textile. Her work generally activates these histories to show how they continue to inform collective perceptions and desires. The artist’s nude self-portraits viscerally call attention to the gaze, the body and our shared preconceptions of race and queer sexuality. Huxtable’s overtly feminized and sexualized posture in pieces like Nuwaubian Princess (2013) and Untitled In the Rage (Nibiru Cataclysm)(2015) turn the viewer’s attention to her body and produces a simultaneously alluring and combative display. These portraits allow Huxtable to not only celebrate her own body but also to draw critical attention to the gaze and interrogate the constructs that fuel our reluctance towards discussions of gender and race.
Huxtable’s work has been featured in group presentations at MoMA PS1, New York (2014); White Columns Annual, White Columns, New York (2014); “Take Ecstasy with Me,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2014); Frieze Projects, London (2014); and 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2015); among other venues. She lives and works in New York.
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