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Photographers' works document LGBT identities
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Matt Simonette
2017-11-21

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Photographers Jess T. Dugan and Lorenzo Triburgo, along with Vanessa Fabbre, assistant professor at the Brown School and affiliate faculty in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, joined Center on Halsted Director of Transgender Relations and Community Engagement Vanessa Sheridan, who moderated, for a panel titled "Vulnerability and the LGBT Community" on Nov. 15.

The presentation was part of Museum of Contemporary Photography's exhibition "Disruptive Perspectives," which, according to its publicity, is an "exhibition that explores gender, sexuality, and identity" that utilizes "photography to articulate an expansive range of identities that cannot be sufficiently characterized using simplistic binaries."

St. Louis-based Dugan and Fabbre, who are a couple, undertook a photographic project documenting the lives of 88 transgender adults over the age of 50. Dugan photographed the subjects, while Fabbre interviewed them.

The couple consistently strove to "present subjects who were marginalized but also bring attention to their resiliency and strength," Dugan said.

Fabbre pointed out that she and Dugan endeavored for portraits that did not focus on individual vulnerabilities, but rather noted economic, social, environmental and and political challenges they faced instead.

"You'd see how the world creates this vulnerability for them," she said.

New York City-based Triburgo discussed his photographic project Policing Gender, which addresses mass incarceration by combining audio testimonials from LGBT prisoners with abstract images of landscapes and fabrics, effectively challenging viewers' expectations about absence and presence. Triburgo corresponded with the prisoners for some time prior to their recording.

"That, for about a year, was my art practice," Triburgo said.

"Disruptive Perspectives," including work by Dugan and Triburgo, shows at Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S. Michigan Ave., through Friday, Dec. 22. www.mocp.org/ .


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