The Flaten Art Museum hosted Zackary Drucker, transgender artist of the current exhibition “She Gone Rogue.” Drucker spoke on campus several times throughout Coming Out Week, discussing her artwork, gender and being a transgender artist.
Drucker met with multiple classes in the gallery to discuss topics and issues surrounding gender and identity in our current society.
These conversations were not limited to the classroom experience. On Oct. 8, Drucker joined faculty in a Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts CILA luncheon to discuss methods for making a campus a welcoming environment for transgender people.
Gay, Lesbian or Whatever GLOW!teamed up with Drucker that night to hear about her new television show, Transparent, an Amazon Original Series, which tells the story of a family patriarch played by Jeffrey Tambor coming out as a transgender woman.
Transparent, like the majority of Drucker’s art, attempts to alter the way society looks at gender and sexual identity, in this case focusing on the older generations of the trans* community and the process of aging in a trans* body. Many people believe that the trans* community is a strictly modern subculture, but in the GLOW! meeting Drucker debunked this myth.
“Gender non-conformity is not a 21st-century concept,” she said.
The subculture has always existed, but only relatively recently have more people come out identifying as transgender. Transparent is not the only work of Drucker’s to take a look at the older generations of trans* people. The video She Gone Rogue, currently in the exhibit in Flaten, features the acting of Holly Woodlawn, Vaginal Davis and Jack Doroshow, all of whom either identify as trans* or are heavily involved in the drag scene.
Though the themes of Drucker’s art are clear, one aspect of the exhibit that remained unclear was the title. When questioned about the title during a Q&A, Drucker responded that the title was meant to mirror the ethereal quality of the film itself.
“That title is nonsensical,” she said, “but it is evocative.”
The title is not the only thing that is evocative. The entire exhibit truly makes viewers think about gender identity and expression, and allows cisgendered people those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth a look into what the life of a trans* person may be like. This does not mean that the experiences of a trans* person could ever truly be felt by cis people, but nonetheless, the art gives an opportunity for people outside of the trans*community to gain some perspective. Additionally, the photography featured in the exhibit elicits the raw emotion that comes with human relationships while conceptualizing the transition some of the trans* community experiences.
If you have not had a chance to see the show, it is up until Nov. 2 in the Flaten Art Museum North Gallery. Admission is free.
Photo Credit: JAYNEE PURCHASE/MANITOU MESSENGER