Jess T. Dugan and Vanessa Fabbre’s “To Survive on This Shore”

Jess T. Dugan and Vanessa Fabbre’s “To Survive on This Shore”

To Survive on This Shore is on view at projects+gallery

projects+gallery is thrilled to present To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults , which will remain on view at the gallery through October 10, 2018.

This interdisciplinary project is a collaboration between Jess T. Dugan, photographer, and Vanessa Fabbre, social worker and assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, whose research focuses on the intersection of LGBTQ issues and aging.  For over five years, Dugan and Fabbre traveled throughout the United States seeking subjects whose experiences exist within the complex intersections of gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, socioeconomic class, and geographic location. The featured individuals have a wide variety of life narratives spanning ninety years, offering an important historical record of transgender experience and activism in the United States.

The exhibition thirty-two photographs, each paired with texts illuminating the life narratives of those photographed. The accompanying hardcover catalogue (Kehrer Verlag, 2018; available for purchase here) contains 65 portraits and texts as well as an interview with Dugan and Fabbre conducted by Karen Irvine, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, IL.

While Dugan’s earlier work focused on issues of identity, gender, and sexuality – and often on LGBTQ communities specifically – this is her first body of work that focuses on older adults, a result of her collaboration with Fabbre. Dugan’s portraits are open, emotive, and nuanced, utilizing direct eye contact to facilitate a meaningful exchange between subject and viewer. For the accompanying texts, Fabbre provides selections of full-length interviews to enhance the viewer’s connection to each subject’s story. The resulting book and exhibition provide a nuanced view into the struggles and joys of growing older as a transgender person and offer a poignant reflection on what it means to live authentically despite seemingly insurmountable odds.

The exhibit has already received substantial critical praise by The New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, Artspace and Buzzfeed, among many other publications.

Please contact us if you’re interested in bringing this project to your venue.