SPE - PERFORMANCE AND EXHIBITION SPACE
1 OCTOBER 2016-29 JANUARY 2017
TO 29 JANUARY 2017
Winner of the Provisional Assemblages Open Call
Male or female? Nature or culture? Choice or destiny? The line between male and female is a certain fact, an intimate need or a social convention? These are the questions raised byBeautiful Men. A visual story of a journey in four countries in three different continents, Cuba, China, Tonga and Indonesia, the intimate discovery of a universal dynamic: the assertion of a gender identity that differs from the biological. The journey begins in Cuba, in the secret room of San Isidro, a popular district in Havana where men, like chrysalises, transform themselves into women. The journey continues in China, backstage of Beijing’s gay cabarets. The photographer’s gaze also examines the centuries-old tradition of the Polynesian Fakaleiti, considered the third sex in the Tongan Islands.
Marcello Bonfanti tells the story of the last Bissu of the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia, where the ethnic group, the Bugis, has kept alive the tradition of 5 sexes. The burden of conventions vacillates in the photographic project, which guides us in the unconscious of the protagonists, where the psyche triumphs over biology and transforms male into female. In this process, dress does not only have a practical and aesthetic meaning, but becomes a symbol of identity affirmation. A process that clashes with the idea of a biological norm, now questioned by these pictures, that make it appear like a simple expectation and not as somethingof universal value.
suitable for an adult audience only