“To Survive on This Shore” exposition shows underrepresented parts of LGBTQ community

Maria Lago/Staff Writer

On March 4, the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum featured the photography exposition “To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews With Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults” by Jess Dugan and Vanessa Fabbre as part of their Mixtape Mondays series.

For over five years, Fabbre and Dugan photographed 88 transgender people over the age of fifty from different ethnicities, backgrounds and parts of the U.S. There were 22 pictures selected for the exposition that included short excerpts of the interviews made by the photographers.

Chief Curator Amy Galpin at the Frost Art Museum talked about Dugan’s work in context with other photos and artists that inspired her work. She emphasized that the exposition focused on three arching themes: intimacy, activism and reference for daily life.

Those same themes inspired Galpin to be the curator for this exposition. “The photos bring relatable moments, it shows human connection,” she said.

She also said that it was important to show the exposition on campus to illustrate that the subjects came out as transgender in an era before the Internet.

Galpin emphasized that Dugan’s work was influenced by historical paintings, such as from the Italian renaissance period. Before the subjects had their pictures taken, Dugan had established a relationship of trust between them; so they seemed comfortable and confident in the photos.

Dugan had previously worked with portraying the LGBTQ community in her book “Transcendence” and “A moment collected.” Fabbre is a Ph.D assistant professor at University of Chicago, where she focuses her research on LGBTQ aging, social work practice and interpretive methodology.

To learn more about this exhibition and the upcoming Curator’s Tour, visit frost.fiu.edu/exhibitions-events/events/2019/04/curators-tour.html

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