expo construccions identitaries brIDENTITARY CONSTRUCTIONS
Work in progress
An exhibition by Mar C. Llop
30.10.2018 – 29.11.2018

Opening, Tuesday 30th October, 6.30 pm at the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya Demarcació Comarques Centrals Seu de Vic (Plaça del Bisbe Oliva, 2 Vic

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Concept Section:
Exhibition at the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya Demarcació Comarques Centrals Seu de Vic (Plaça del Bisbe Oliva, 2 Vic)

People Section:
Exhibition at ACVic Centre d’Arts Contemporànies (Sant Francesc, 1 Vic)

Links Section:
Exhibition at the Institut del Teatre de Vic (Sant Miquel dels Sants, 20 Vic)

Transition Section:
Exhibition at the Escola d’Art i Superior de Disseny de Vic (Rambla Sant Domènec, 21 Vic)

Whichever identity, and more so sexual gender identity, must be considered in the physical world, in our  outward appearance. At the end of the day, the physical body/physical bodies exist and are constructed, beyond purely intellectual discussions. Personal feelings, the perception of self and the construction of our own identity cannot be understood without examining the very deepest processes, nor without studying an environment which demands the granting of a visible coherence – permanent and continuous – in order that the internal structure of what is under examination remains intact. This project, based upon the point of view of the everyday, as well as the perspective of one who also finds themselves in transition, is an attempt to approach the construction, on a personal level, of multiple identities; however, identities which cannot be understood without reference to collective processes, to networks of dialogue and struggle among those who take part in the discussion.

The project which I began in the spring of 2013 deals with photographing and explaining, by textual means, the discourses of gender construction of those who must depart from the man/woman dichotomy and also, specifically, the evolution of the bodies of transsexuals. At a moment in my existence when I decided to journey from the gender to which I was assigned at birth, and in this time of transition, I met, and am still meeting, people who are following the same path. One day, looking around me, I began to document and to embody the realities, feelings, thoughts, concepts and debates of transgender people, from within, and alongside those who are immersed in this world, taking the plunge into a place between blue and pink, black and white, searching for a body, an expression, in which we feel comfortable in ourselves; a place that need not be fixed, either.

The project follows the lines of Concepts, Transitions, People and Links

This line of work is a free expression regarding concepts related to the transgender world. Small pieces representing the strain, the fears, the joys and the emotions which cross-dressers and transexuals experience. In attempting to order the work, I realised that I had represented my own experiences and discoveries in transition, and so I completed the work with texts explaining the journey.

“Transition” captures in many pictures, in the distant past and nearer to the present, people who, using hormone treatment, or beyond hormone treatment, have taken the decision to live in the gender which they have chosen publicly, and which differs from that which was assign at the moment of birth. The project attempts to follow individuals on the temporal scale, in different stages of their transition, and, above all, at different moments in their hormone treatment process; a process which, often, is associated with a public presentation of the «I», of the self-identification, and therefore with a process of growing stronger in everyday life, which makes sense of the vulnerability that also accompanies the process of transition.

In this section are people who have experienced, or who are experiencing, permanent or temporary transitions, and who are related to the world of transsexuals, transgender or crossdressing; all of whom are, in one way or another, modifying their bodies, oriented towards projecting one particular gender expression, with the help of make-up and prosthetics, physical exercise, hormone treatment, surgery, etc.

Sometimes the feeling of being transgender is buried deep inside the self. Those who hide from themselves because they will not accept the fact, who cannot avoid value-judgements in their immediate surroundings, can have long-term consequences for those whom they live with, and whom they love most. Over years, little by little, these feelings rise to the surface, and many times, this occurs when one is living as one of a couple. Despite this, frequently, the person does not wish to abandon a relationship which has perhaps lasted for many years. The work which lies ahead, personally, and as a couple, is evident. Self-awareness, understanding and affection, as well as fears and the conflicts which arise, may lead the couple to talk about the situation, and rather than causing a break-up, it could represent an opportunity for growth as a couple, and in their relationship. It is important to take into consideration the people who accompany these transitions, often family members or one of a couple, who also have difficulties to work on. The particularities of emotional support in the life of a person who begins a transition, or who is in permanent transition, is such that sometimes it seems easier to stay «in the closet» rather than confront the task of visualising change, leading the person to choose the false comfort of the closet. Sometimes, there are break-ups, and from other relationships, new pathways open up. Support from family and friends is not always forthcoming. For this reason, in this line of work, I have looked to incorporate links with people who are transsexual or who are occasional or everyday crossdressers, and their relationships to their emotional environments.

Mar C. Llop is a freelance photographer from the association trans* Generem!. She was born in Barcelona on the 3rd of July 1967, and studied photography at the Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya (1981-1986) and vídeo production at the Centre de la Imatge (1987-1988).

She set up her first studio in 1996. Since then she has worked in publishing and advertising with a wide portfolio of clients, specialising in interior design, architecture, fashion and portraits (El Mueble, Arquitectura y Diseño, Casa Ideal, Habitania, Cuerpo Mente, Côte Sud, Güell Lamadrid, Taller de las Indias, Toni Miro, Nice Things-Paloma S, as well as many others). Since 2013 she has been working on the project Construccions identitàries Work in progressabout gender diversity. The project has been covered in Diari Ara, El País, Time Out, Picara Magazine, and others, and exhibited at Barcelona’s  Centre de Fotografia mitjans Documentals in October of 2014, at Clot’s Centre Cultural la Farinera in 2015, at the Ajuntament de Tarragona and the Universitat de Lleida in 2016, and at other venues.

Other personal projects include “Escocesos sense espai”, portraits of ex-workers from the factory “La Escocesa” in Barcelona, mounted as one single photograph of 1.38m by 12m in the style of a bar-code, as a protest against property speculationñ and the series of night-time landscape photographs by the light of the full moon over the Cap de Creus, called “Reflexes Llunàtics” (2009).

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