What is gender?
What is transgenderism?
Trans: Transformation, transcendence, trans… position
It: How to define ‘it”? What is transgenderism?
I: I am multiple: I am multiple, you are multiple ,with both female and male qualities
On: ‘We’ in French. WE are essentially all HUMAN
In this Part 1 exhibition of Trans-it-I-on in Paris, we look at gender and its definition ‘What is Gender?’
Part 2: London, 19th of January 2017: the role of transgender people in western societies
Part 3: USA, date tbc: transgenderism versus transexuality
Transgenderism is often confused with transsexuality – wrongly so. Transmale and transfemale can be heterosexual, homosexual, asexual, bi-sexual, non-binary…all declinations we find in cisgender people.
So, the answers to these questions extend beyond categorisations, and the people who have broken down the constraints of gender identity through transition embody a whole new depth of beauty.
It is a vast subject Misia-O’ touches on and will develop further on her forthcoming exhibitions in London and the USA in 2017.
This traveling multi-media photographic documentary project launches in Paris, passes through London and ends in the United States, offering a rare and intimate look into the beauty of transition and transgender people in western societies.
Male to female… Female to male… Reborn while still retaining the depth of the journey. A journey that many in society have sadly yet to understand. This project aims to humbly pay tribute to those who have transcended their gender. Born in the wrong body and broken through a ‘consigned’ gender imposed on them by birth and society to embrace their true selves.
Questions of gender, society and transgenderism only skims the surface of this project. The real truth lies within you…
The spectator is invited to discover over 30 visuals curated in 3 themes …in a far more immersive, introspective experience. We are all multiple within our genders, multi-layered in our attributes of feminine and masculine… In the first moments of our embryonic existence we are genderless, neither male or female, and as we grow into whatever gender we embrace, we retain this dichotomy.
This is not about sexuality, it is about gender, in its suppression, liberation, and its most spiritual essence revealing at its base, that WE are all human, for gender transcends physicality of the body and even the pre-ordained laws of love.
Misia-O’ presents TRANS-IT-I-ION
At Gallery 1885, The Camera Club Gallery, London
20th January – 10th February 2017
Invitation only Private View Thursday 19th January
Trans: transformation, transcendence, trans
It: How to define ‘it’? what is transgenderism?
I: I am multiple, You are multiple
on: ‘we’ in French -each have both female and male qualities
After a successful opening on 24th November at Galerie 18. Atelier des Abbesses gallery in Montmartre, Paris, followed by an exhibition at the Lucky Bastard in the Marais district of Paris, Misia-O’ will bring her exhibition exploring transgenderism and gender to the Camera Club Gallery in London in January 2017. Part 1 of the exhibition series in Paris “What is Gender” looks at gender and its definition; Part 2 in London examines the role of transgender people in Western societies. After London the exhibition will move to the USA for Part 3 of the series, where Misia-O’ will examine transgenderism versus transexuality. There are also plans to exhibit Trans-it-I-on at Les Rencontres d’Arles in July 2017, combining subjects addressed in Part 1 and Part 2 of the series. The series of exhibitions will offer a rare and intimate look into the beauty of transition and transgender people in western societies.
Misia-O’s mission is to use the medium of photography as a means of voicing and confronting social, political and gender-sensitive issues affecting minority groups: Trans-it-I-on is the first exhibition from Misia-O’, and features members of the Transgender communities in Paris, London and New York. Trans-it-i-on aims to offer an insight into the lives of transgender men and women, and the London exhibition will include portraits of Transgender people in the set up or uniform of their everyday jobs, fully integrated into society.
Trans-it-I-on also explores traditional notions of beauty and gender, which are gradually being deconstructed and re-examined in today’s society, with many Millennials talking about being gender neutral and having a more fluid attitude towards gender and sexuality. Fashion houses now feature transgender models on the catwalk, and designer Ricardo Tisci’s muse, transgender model Lea T, has feature on Givenchy’s runways and editorial campaigns.
Misia-O’ explains the concept of Trans-it-I-on: “Male to female…female to male…reborn while still retaining the depth of the journey. A journey that many in society have yet to understand. This project aims to humbly pay tribute to those who have transcended their gender. Born in a ‘given’ gender and broken through a ‘consigned’ gender imposed on them at birth, to embrace their true selves.”
The London exhibition features a series of limited edition C-Type prints on Fuji matt paper, shot using Canon 5D and 7D, handheld and on a tripod. Mainly monochrome, the images have an ethereal, mystical aesthetic, which captures the essence and transition of each trans who sat for Misia-O’.
Happily there are some positive changes in attitudes in contemporary society towards the notion of transgenderism, with the increased prominence in and acceptance by the global media of transgenderism, partly due to the increased profiles of transgender celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox. The increase of high profile transgender role models in mainstream media has played some part in improving attitudes towards transgenderism, and deconstructing stereotypes associated with traditional notions of gender. However, most trans people do not associate with fame and celebrity and feel very isolated and forgotten.
In our post-Brexit, post-US elections world where certain sectors of society have deep-seated prejudices against minority groups, Misia-O’s values of humanity, freedom and equality are more important than ever. Misia-O’ believes in #creativityforhumanity, and aims to raise the profile of transgender men and women, whilst capturing their individual beauty with carefully considered camera techniques, and examining the fragility of their physical transitions.
Misia-O’ explains about the origins of project: “This came totally out of the blue. I was working on a portrait project, looking at photographing various emotions. The model who came forward was Victoria, a trans female. Thus was the start of a friendship…and the beginning of Trans-it-I-on.”
The message Misia-O’ is attempting to communicate through this project is one of acceptance: “The world is becoming dangerously extreme and chaotic all round. It is super important to vehicle messages of tolerance, acceptance, understanding and awareness and to fight for what we once took for granted: freedom and democracy. Thus in turn to hopefully open the minds of as many people as possible.”
Misia-O’s name is inspired by Misia Sert, a Parisian Belle Epoque pianist, artist and philanthropist who was a friend of Chanel, and helped finance the Diagelev Russian Ballet. Misia Sert was a free spirit who posed for Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec. She flouted convention and became the muse and symbol of La Revue Blanche, a progressive late 19th Century cultural publication concerned with political, artistic and social issues affecting the transition period between the 19th and 20th centuries.
With the Trans-it-i-on series of exhibitions, Misia-O’ endeavours to embody the same freedom of spirit and progressive nature of her namesake. Misia-O’ admits that questions of gender, society and transgenderism only skim the surface of this project.
Misia-O’ explains: “We are all multiple within our genders, multi-layered in our attributes of feminine and masculine… In the first moments of our embryonic existence we are genderless, neither male nor female, and as we grow into whatever gender we embrace, we retain this dichotomy. This is not about sexuality, it is about gender, in its suppression, liberation, and its most spiritual essence revealing at its base, that WE are all human, for gender transcends physicality of the body and even the pre-ordained laws of love.”
It’s a shocking fact that transgender people continue to face staggering levels of discrimination and violence. In 2013, 72% of anti-LGBT homicide victims were transgender women. Transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, face shockingly high rates of murder, homelessness, and incarceration. With the Trans-it-i-on exhibitions Misia-O’ aims to help fight prejudice against the Transgender community.
Misia-O’ comments that she still has a lot to learn about the subject of Transgenderism: “I will never pretend to fully understand this subject-no one can, unless they are trans people. And even then, they are so many layers and variations, as in our predominantly cisgender world…there is no one answer.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Who is MISIA-O’?
This photographic multi-media series is captured, curated and staged by photographer
A pseudonym inspired by her muse Misia Sert. And behind the pseudonym is an international creative director and publisher of a magazine featuring international renowned creatives. Based in-between several cities, including London, Paris and New York City , Misia-O’ is a photographer whose aim is to celebrate difference, individuality and humanity via her photographic projects.
Tolerance can be found via understanding and education.
Transgender is a term used to describe people who identify with a different gender identity to the one on their birth certificate, Gender identity constituting a person’s internal or personal sense of being a woman or man, or someone outside of that gender binary. Most transgender people seek to bring their bodies more into alignment with their gender identity. Transgender is an umbrella term which includes In addition trans men and trans women whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex, and may also include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine, people who are genderqueer; bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender. Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation: transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual. Many transgender people experience gender dysphoria, and some seek medical treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, sex reassignment surgery.
Exhibition dates: 20th- 10th February 2017
Invitation only Private View: Thursday 19th January, 6.30-9.30pm
London exhibition venue: Gallery 1885, The Camera Club, 16 Bowden Street, London SE11 4DS, + 44 (0) 20 7587 1809
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11:00am-10:00pm/ Sat-Sun 10:00am-6:00pm
Misia-O’ website: http://www.misia-o.com
Press Enquiries contact: Lee Sharrock, Director, Lee Sharrock PR, email@example.com + 44 (0) 7814 862 834
Voies Off 2017
What is Gender? What is “trans +gender identity” “What is femininity?”
Restaurant PALAO : ‘What is Femininity?”
12 rue des Porcelets, 13200 Arles
Du lundi 3 Juillet à fin Septembre 2017 (FERME : Dimanches et Lundi, sauf le Lundi 3 Juillet et 21-28 Août
Le Fournil de la Roquette: “Transition”
9 rue Fleury Prudhon
Du lundi 3 Juillet au 8 Juillet de 9h30 à 22h00
Opening Night with a Trans-it-l-on model:
Jeudi 6 juillet de 19h30 à 22h00
Le Fournil de la Roquette
9 rue Fleury Prudhon
Trans: transformation, transcendence, trans identity…
It: How to define ‘it’? what is “Trans + Gender identity”?
I: I am multiple, You are multiple
on: ‘we’ in French. We are essentially ALL human.
Trans-it-I-on is an evolving international exhibition. In fact, in the first part of Trans-it-I-on which took place in Paris in December 2016, Misia-O’ questions gender and its definition in our western societies : “ What is gender ? “What is trans + gender identity” with a series of poetic and somewhat mysterious photographs of multi-cultural male, female and non-binary transpeople.
Second part : In London, January 2017, Trans-it-I-on focussed on exploring the societal role of transgender people win estern societies.
For the forthcoming International Photography Festival “Les Voies Off 2017 “in Arles, Misia-O’ brings
together the leading pictures of her previous exhibitions : the step and evolution of “transition” shown via three large formats : “Victoria”, “Lilly” and “Stella” exhibited outside at “Le Fournil de la Roquette “ 9, Rue Fleury Prudhon 13200 Arles, and simultaneously with 8 small, intimate format pictures on acrylic and with models’ testimonies at the “Restaurant Palao,” 12 rue des Porcelets, 13200 Arles.
There, the selection of prints from Part 2- ‘Metamorphosis’ questions gender : “What is femininity ?”.
Trans-it-I-on aims to capture the spiritual and ethereal aspect of any transition, showing that gender defies all physicality and that gender is ultimately hyper individual and multiple.
The third part of this project’s topic will be : “Transpeople : love and sexuality”, and exhibited in the US and Europe in 2018.
WHAT IS FEMININITY?
“ What is gender ? What is femininity ? ” (Metamorphosis, Part 2)
This part, at the restaurant Le Palao, shows 8 intimate formats of an almost intangible , delicate and somewhat mystical femininity. The celebration of an introspective journey, that many people unfortunately have difficulties understanding.
This project aims to humbly pay tribute to those who, by an evolutive transition paved with pain, and courage, today celebrate their true-selves, consecration of their gender.
TRANS AND GENDER IDENTITY
The term ‘transgender” is frequently confused with sexuality. Male, female, non-binary transgenders can be heterosexuals, homosexuals, asexuals, bisexuals… All declinations we find in cisgender people.
Transgender is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women), it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer, e.g. bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender).
A gender is assigned to each of us at birth. Why? Gender may/can defy the physicality in which we live- our identities are unique and complex , sometimes multipe and beyond our physical body.
Most societies solely , and therefore wrongly, assign gender identity to match the physicality into which we
Misia-O’s approaches this subject delicately, celebrating individuality and humanity in an artistic and
Who is MISIA-O’ ?
This photographic multi-media series is captured, curated and staged by photographer MISIA-O’.
Misia-O’ is represented by Creative Mapping based in London. Throughout its magazine, Creative Mapping collaborates with major international designers in various artistic fields.
Based in-between several cities, including London, Paris and New York, Misia-O’ is a photographer whose aim is to celebrate difference, individuality and humanity via her photographic projects.
Press: Diana Salibe firstname.lastname@example.org