sobota, 5 października 2013

„We Love We Make We Exist" & „Projekt Inner Pageant” Exhibition

Foto: Alena Shumchyk

I was recently invited to join Festiwal Q Alternatywie along with Marta Kochanek and  We Love We Make We Exist. Here we were giving a talk to the audienc. 

Official Opening of the Q Alternatywie Queer Festival with Photography Exhibitions

A vernissage of Marta Kochanek and Barbara Gibson’s photography exhibitions and a meeting with the artists.

We Love We Make We Exist. Author: Marta Kochanek

We Love We Make We Exist is a project fully focused on portraying members of LGBT Families including their children.
Following Queer’ists – a successfully developed project, which won international acclaim, having been included in numerous LGBT events in 2011 such as Oslo Queer Festival, LGBT History Month, Peace Festival and GFest London – Marta Kochanek’s aim was to create a new body of photographic work, for which she portrayed same-sex parents and their children.

Marta believes that parenting belongs to one of the most important experiences, shared between the two people who love each other. Same-sex parents, however, have to deal with additional obstacles. Not only because all of the important and necessary arrangements have to be considered – often against all odds and with no legal recognition - but even more importantly, such families might find it hard to feel accepted by and included into society. The artist presents a clear and positive image of the (extra)ordinary same-sex families in order to show as well as prove that LGBT parents can possess all of the qualities and values enabling them to raise healthy and happy children.

We Love We Make We Exist is a celebration of cultural diversity, developed to support as well as increase the presence and visibility of homosexual parents and families.

Marta Kochanek is an internationally renowned, award-winning photographer whose work has been exhibited at venues such as Mall Galleries London, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Brooklyn Verge Art Fair and New York’s Leslie & Lohman. In 2012 she was invited to take part in the International Young Photographers Exhibition at the Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea.

Marta’s work has been awarded at such prestigious events as Px3 Paris, International Aperture Awards, International Photography Awards and Art Kudos.

In 2011, Marta coordinated a major project in New York, archiving the work of Annie Leibovitz. She also assisted the American virtuoso of photography during sessions for the world’s most famous magazines. Such an honour was a result of not only her dedication and ambition but also the trust that Marta has worked equally hard for.

After returning to Great Britain, she has curated two international exhibitions presenting the work of American, British and Polish artists.

She is actively involved in numerous LGBT photography projects and is a board member of Halcyon LGBT Business Network, UK as well as one of the three co-ordinators of the photography branch of PaiL West Midlands (Polish Artists in London).

Project Inner Pageant. Author: Barbara Gibson.

As far as we can look back in time, we can make a confident statement that Drag Queens have always formed a part of the LGBT community, highlighting their pride through much more than visual expression. Drag Queens are usually associated with colourful outfits, precisely applied make-up and - obviously - very high heels. Usually they are seen on stage, performing and entertaining the public. Basked in stage lights, they dance and sing, enjoying themselves and making everyone laugh. Drag forms a permanent element of Prides and LGBT related festivals, maintaining high visibility. However, there is much more to it than meets the eye. Drag Queens have played a crucial part in LGBT history, most famously leading the resistance during the Stonewall riots in 1969.

Inner Pageant pulls back the curtain of mystery, whilst at the same time showing the intimacy that is not accessible to everyone. The documentary shows a group of men reconciled to their identity, turning into women and preparing themselves to go outside, perform and express their personalities. It is the time for their inner celebration. It is where spirituality meets the physical ability to transform into the characters they carry deeply hidden within themselves in everyday life.

Their honesty comes from their clear acceptance of themselves and their awareness of who they are. They are not afraid to show off their real ego. They were all able to discover that small part of femininity within themselves and share it with the rest of the world. Each performance is a celebration of them as individuals as well as them being part of the community.

In author’s own words, ‘what makes me happy is when I can be there and observe them, hearing such words as: I am the happiest person in the world when I can express my real personality.’

Barbara Gibson is a student of the Warsaw School of Photography. A born photographer - it is her passion and her devotion. In her work she explores the stories that people create. She is in her own element, out in the streets with a camera by her side. Most of her work is digital and whilst sometimes she employs graphical manipulation, in most cases it is a record of pure and un-retouched reality that surrounds her every day.

In 2012 she was a curator of the Photography section of the Warsaw O’Less Festival. She has received awards at events such as Bursa Photo Fest in Turkey, Shout Festival and Exhibition Queer Eye: Generations and Legacies in Brimingham (UK) and her photographs were exhibited at Escuela Motivarte in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Arists Reveal Yourself organized by PAiL Birmingham. In 2012 her project “Between” was invited to take part in the International Young Photographers Exhibition during the Daegu Photo Biennale, South Korea.

After the vernissage, the exhibitions will be open for visitors until 24.10.2013 every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 4 to 7pm.

Gallery from vernissage:  here

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