The Way We Were
10 Aug 2009
"Different though the sexes are, they intermix. In every human being a vacillation from one sex to the other takes place, and often it is only the clothes that keep the male or female likeness, while underneath the sex is the very opposite of what it is above". From Orlando (1928) by Virginia Woolf
The Way We Were series is part of a larger documentary program that captures the lives, struggles, and diversity of the transgender community in the USA and abroad. This series investigates and confronts some of the cultural and social stereotypes associated with gender in order to challenge the conventional notions of masculinity and femininity. Its objective is to promote understanding, and raise awareness about the fluidity of gender and sexuality within the human race.
These portraits are of people holding photographs of themselves prior to their gender transformations, and are accompanied by their individual stories. They are rooted in documentary reality, yet formally rigorous and conceptually self-conscious. These double-portraits were taken in informal circumstances and with natural light by imposing a strict seriality and a formal classicism in the captured images. The goal is to reveal the adversities that these people have had to face in their aims of achieving congruence between their physical identity and their real inner self. By showing successful gender transformations, it is hoped that the viewer will use this information to reconsider their own concepts of gender and identity.