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Lærke Posselt, Q* Bending Gender Lærke Posselt, Q* Bending Gender

April 11 - September 17, 2017 Q* Bending Gender
Lærke Posselt

The biological gender is usually one of the standard categories we use to define ourselves and others. In her series Q* - Bending Gender the internationally renowned photographer Lærke Posselt (b. 1984) brings us face to face with people who have chosen to step outside traditional gender categories.

See pictures from the exhibition here

Most people think of gender as something we are born with. As biological and unique. We are either girls or boys – men or women. But that is not how all see it. Especially many young people share the opinion that gender is either something subtler and more fluid than the traditional binary system can account for; or it is simply a box, a social and cultural construction that limits the individual's freedom and identity. A limitation which many young people refuse to submit to and consequently attempt to break down – either on a personal level or in an activist manner in order to create room for a more nuanced view of humanity.

The concept of 'queerness' is used by many who do not feel comfortable with traditional gender categories and instead experiment with and challenge heteronormativity. Young people who dream of living in a society that appreciates the person before the sex; a society in which our gaze is not colored by prejudices about gender norms and sexuality.

The concept of LGBT has recently been extended to LGBTQ*. The Q is for queer, and the asterisk indicates that it is used as an umbrella term for multiple minorities. In her photographic series Q* Bending Gender, Lærke Posselt has portrayed a number of young people who precisely define themselves as queer.

Posselt renders her subjects with a strong presence while capturing at the same time their indefinable appearance. In turn, we as viewers are confronted with our own ideas about gender and society.

Correspondingly we are introduced to the portrait subjects in quotes that accompany each image. As when Julian says "I sense that people think I'm a girl. I do not experience this as overtly uncomfortable, nor is it decidedly pleasant. It is a pity that we cannot imagine someone wearing makeup as something other than a woman."

Through her portraits and accompanying quotes, Lærke Posselt not only questions the boundaries of gender. She also challenges our perception of gender as fundamental and essential to our understanding of each other as individuals. With these images she attempts to raise awareness of a new and different way of seeing the world, providing at the same time a sense of entitlement among those who recognize themselves in the works.

Portrait photography plays a central role in Lærke Posselt’s work. She has worked on the series Q* Bending Gender for several years (2014-17) in an attempt to cover as many aspects of queer
identity as possible without marginalizing her subjects – which, according to Posselt, would be tantamount to repeating the mistakes already made in society as a whole.

Only recently Lærke Posselt has completed the series with new images from both Sweden and Norway that have not been exhibited until now. At Holstebro Kunstmuseum Posselt presents for the first time the series in its entirety.

Lærke Posselt was born and raised in West Jutland. She graduated from the Danish School of Media and Journalism and has won several major awards, including the Crown Prince Couple’s Award (The Stardust Price) in 2014 and the prestigious World Press Photo in the category for portraits in 2012. Today, Posselt maintains an international career as a freelance photographer.

The exhibition is part of and has received generous support from The Cultural Cooperation in Mid- and West Jutland’s cultural festival Off Road 2017, a joint collaboration between seven municipalities that focus on culture off the beaten track.