Carlos Motta: Gender Talents (2013)

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Usha Kiran is a trans man and human rights activist working for the rights of disabled and trans persons with Nisarga in Chikkaballapur.

GENDER TALENTS is a web-based project by artist Carlos Motta that engages movements and discourses for gender self-determination within trans and intersex communities internationally.

GENDER TALENTS features an online archive of video portraits of trans and intersex activists who thoughtfully perform gender as a personal, social, and political opportunity rather than as a social condemnation. Based on in-depth interviews conducted in Colombia, Guatemala, India and the United States the portraits expose the ways that activists challenge the bio-cultural “foundations” of society and question gender norms from the perspective of sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, and disability.

Sean Saifa M. Wall is an intersex activist of African descent. This portrait was shot in San Francisco.

GENDER TALENTS documents the ways in which society conditions and regulates bodies and how gender activists build politics of resistance and action. From Joggapa and trans communities in India, to sex workers in Colombia and Guatemala, to intersex activists in the United States, these individuals and organizations fight for state recognition, the right to self-determine their identities, self-govern their bodies, access to work, health benefits, and other pressing issues.

Music video of hip hop singer and trans activist La Gata’s acclaimed song “Calzones azules,” directed by Julian Grijalba.

GENDER TALENTS is also an ongoing platform for physical events that reflect on alternative ways to think about the rigid nature of the gender binary as it is enforced in society.

*Carlos Motta is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work draws upon political history in an attempt to create counter narratives that recognize suppressed histories, communities, and identities. His work is known for its engagement with histories of queer culture and activism and for its insistence that the politics of sex and gender represent an opportunity to articulate definite positions against social and political injustice.

Motta’s work has been presented internationally in venues such as Tate Modern, London; The New Museum, The Guggenheim Museum and MoMA/PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Museo de Arte del Banco de la República, Bogotá; Museu Serralves, Porto; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson; San Francisco Art Institute; Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City; and many other public, private and independent spaces throughout the world.