OCA study event review: OCA London
What a fabulous time I had last weekend. Six of us met at the Hayward Gallery to see the exhibition Kiss My Genders, to have a social chat and to critique work that we had brought along.
Kiss My Genders was a wonderful combination of photography, art, collage, film and installations by 35 artists from around the world. The exhibition explores gender identity, the politicalisation of gender, gender fluidity, and discrimination. “Crime Scene” by Zanele Muholi portrays the horrific murder and violence committed against the black lesbian and transgender community in South Africa. Hard Hitting!
The whole exhibition was fascinating and has left me with questions; What is gender? Who decides or claims ownership of my gender by labelling me? Why do people commit violence against people who don’t conform to historic social norms?
I identify as gender fluid and currently living in the male role, I’ve questioned my gender and identity a lot over the course of my life, so it was a refreshing exhibition for me. However, I did feel that the exhibition lacked some emotional depth in places, and portrayed gender fluid and transgender people as being about clothing, make up, and performance (drag). Gender and identity are so much more than these limited aspects.
Seeing the exhibition before we had coffee/tea/lunch etc, was a wonderful way to break the ice. It provides a platform for discussion and that cut through the nervous tension of being in a group. I need that because I struggle with being around people, but I settled and I really enjoyed myself.
Two of us had brought photography for critique and a third person had brought a draft exhibition proposal to be reviewed. What I liked about this part of the afternoon was the non critical way the critique was given. Questions were asked rather than statements being made. I particularly liked the feedback I was given on one of my embroidered photographs. It helped me to clearly see how I’ve moved from the technical approach of learning a new skill, into bringing my emotion to the forefront of my art.
The next London Regional OCA Group will be in September, although we’re unsure of the date and venue. We are a cross genre group so any OCA student is welcome to attend. Visit the Regional Group area of the OCA Discuss site to find out more.