With Xabier Arakistain, Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, Giuseppe Campuzano, J. Jack Halberstam, Carlos Motta, Beatriz Preciado, Dean Spade, Terre Thaemlitz, Wu Tsang & Safra Project,  Del LaGrace Volcano and Campbell X

Carlos Motta, 2012

Gender Talents: A Special Address, convened by Carlos Motta, presents an international group of thinkers, activists, and artists in a symposium that uses the proposition or manifesto as a structuring device and starting point for discussion. These ‘special addresses’ will explore models and strategies that transform the ways in which society perversely defines and regulates bodies. The event seeks to ask what is at stake when collapsing, inverting or abandoning the gender binary. Here the relation between self-determination and solidarity in processes of systemic change form the foundation of a pragmatic exploration of ways of being ungoverned by normative gender.

Carlos Motta’s Gender Talents is an ongoing project realised with the support of Creative Capital, which through concrete, theoretical and abstract routes seeks to depart radically from the binary logic of sexual and gender representation.

About the speakers

Xabier Arakistain

Xabier Arakistain is a feminist curator and art critic. He was Director of Montehermoso Art Centre, Vitoria, from 2007 to 2011, making it a pioneering institution in the development and application of feminist policies in the fields of contemporary art, thought and culture. He has lectured widely on this project and on the relationship between art and feminism in several cultural and academic institutions.

Giuseppe Campuzano

Giuseppe Campuzano is a transvestite philosopher. In 2004, Campuzano created Museo Travesti del Perú, The Transvestite Museum of Peru, a bodily counter-narrative to makeup voids and de-makeup boundaries. Parasitising the museums of contemporary art of São Paulo, Santiago and Barcelona, and the Reina Sofia, Madrid; universities of Lima, Brighton, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bogotá, México D. F. and Quito. Working the streets. Spawning libraries with Museo Travesti del Perú (2008); Chamanes, danzantes, putas y misses: El travestismo obseso de la memoria (2010, Ramona) and Veiled Genealogy for a Transfuture in The Future Lasts Forever (2011). Campuzano is recipient of the Foundation for Arts Initiatives Grant in 2013.

J. Jack Halberstam

J. Jack Halberstam is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. Halberstam is the author of five books including: Female Masculinity (Duke, 1998), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and has written articles that have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and collections. Halberstam blogs at Bully Bloggers and his website. Halberstam is currently working on several projects including a book on queer anarchism.

Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad: EEPB

Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad: EEPB, born 1949, is a medical doctor with an expertise in family therapy and sexology. Hir was appointed Professor of Sexology in 2012. EEPB is the father of two and is an open transperson in Norway appearing both as male and female. In 2002 hir son Even Benestad realised the feature film All about my Father which put both of them on the celebrity lists. To be well known has been a good platform for gender/queer activism, fighting injustice and pathologisation. EEPB is continuously fighting orthodox psychiatrists and health bureaucrats.

Carlos Motta

Carlos Motta’s (Colombia, born 1978) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work draws upon political history in an attempt to create counter narratives that recognise the inclusion of suppressed histories, communities, and identities. His work has been presented internationally in venues such as The New Museum, Guggenheim Museum and MoMA/PS1 Contemporary Art Centre, New York; X Biennale de Lyon; Serralves Museum, Porto, among others. He was awarded the 2012 Creative Capital Grant in support of Gender Talents.  

Beatriz Preciado

Beatriz Preciado is a philosopher and queer activist. S/he is the director of the Independent Studies Program at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA). A Fulbright Fellow, s/he earned a Ph.D in Philosophy and Theory of Architecture at Princeton University and an MA in Philosophy and Gender Studies at the New School for Social Research. Preciado’s works include the critically acclaimed Contra-Sexual Manifesto (2000), T Junkie. Sex, Drugs and Biopolitics (2008), Anal Terror (2009), and Pornotopia (2010) for which s/he was awarded the Sade Prize. S/he teaches Gender Studies and Political History of the Body at Université Paris 8- Saint Denis, France.

Dean Spade

Dean Spade is an associate professor at the Seattle University School of Law and is currently a fellow in the Engaging Tradition Project at Columbia Law School. In 2002 he founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a non-profit collective that provides free legal help to low-income people and people of color who are trans, intersex and/or gender non-conforming and works to build trans resistance rooted in racial and economic justice. He is the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law (2011).

Terre Thaemlitz

Terre Thaemlitz is an award winning multi-media producer, writer, public speaker, educator, audio remixer, DJ and owner of the Comatonse Recordings record label. Her work and writings combine a critical look at identity politics - including gender, sexuality, class, linguistics, ethnicity and race - with an ongoing analysis of the socio-economics of commercial media production. He has released over 15 solo albums, as well as numerous 12-inch singles and video works. As a speaker and educator on issues of non-essentialist Transgenderism and Queerness, Thaemlitz has lectured and participated in panel discussions throughout Europe and Japan. He currently resides in Kawasaki, Japan.

Wu Tsang

Wu Tsang is an artist and filmmaker whose work has been exhibited recently in the 2012 Whitney Biennial and New Museum Triennial in New York, the ICA Philadelphia, MOCA Los Angeles and the Gwangju Biennial (South Korea). Tsang’s film Wildness received its world premiere at MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight. He is a 2012 Louis Comfort Tiffany Fellow and has received support from the Good Works Foundation, Frameline, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the IFP Documentary Lab, Art Matters, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Del LaGrace Volcano

Del LaGrace Volcano is considered one of the pioneers of queer photography and has published five books. LoveBites (1991) the first photographic monograph of lesbian sexuality, The Drag King Book (1999), the only book to date exploring the performances and lives of drag kings, Sublime Mutations (2000), Sex Works (2005) and Femmes of Power (2008), the first photographic monograph celebrating queer femininities in the USA and Europe. Volcano is a regular contributor to academic publications, television programmes and films on queer visual art and theory. Volcano lives and works in the UK and Sweden.

Campbell X 

Campbell is an award-winning filmmaker/curator and writer/director of Stud Life (2012) an urban queer feature film which screened in London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Frameline, Outfest, Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival and Africa in the Picture. Campbell was honoured by Queer Black Cinema festival in New York 2009. Image, Memory and Representation was a retrospective of Campbell’s work at the LLGFF 2007. Campbell curated No Heroes as part of the Progress Reports 2010 at Iniva which also screened at the Red Cat Arts Centre in Los Angeles and Mix NYC in New York 2010 and BAAD NYC 2011. Campbell was a selector for GFEST 2009/10/11 and London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2004/2005. Campbell was festival director for arts festival The Fire This Time! – Queering Black History Month 2006. 

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