IDENTITY, the current exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography, features portraits by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders of Blacks, Latinos, Women, LGBTQ and Transgender personalities.
During a September 23 talk at Skylight Studios the author explained that he was photographing Toni Morrison when he had the idea of creating a series of portraits of well-know African-Americans. The Black List came out as a photo exhibit, a book and a HBO documentary in 2008. He continued with the same concept for the other lists.
Timothy photographs his subjects in his New York studio with an old-fashioned large format 8×10 view camera. A spectacular virtual reality video at the Annenberg shows you in 360 degrees how he does it. A documentary on two large video screens features interviews with a representative of each list.
For the Trans List we see teenage activist Nicole Maines. In 2008 her parents filed a lawsuit for wrongful discrimination, when their transgender daughter was not allowed to use the girls bathrooms in fifth grade, and in January 2014 they won this landmark case. In the catalogue book, The Trans List, interviewed by Janet Mock, she says: “Advocate for yourself. Do not take no for an answer.” You may see Nicole tell her story in person at another of the informative talks held at Skylight Studios on January 5, 2017. Register in advance, these events sell out quickly.
Janet Mock, photographed as representative of the T in the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) Out List, served as interviewer for the subjects of the Trans List. She is the author of the book: Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More.
The video documentary The Trans List, with all 11 interviews, will air on HBO December 6. Transgender actress Laverne Cox stars in the television remake of the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show (airing on Fox-TV October 20). She says: “I’ve always known that I wanted to be a performer, to be transformed by art and by television and by the theater. I’m starting to believe in my own power.” I interviewed her on October 13. Read my article published in the Golden Globes website.
The other video interviews are with Richard Parsons, business executive, from the Black List, Gloria Allred, feminist lawyer, for the Women’s List, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court Justice, for the Latino List, Neil Patrick Harris, television actor, for the Trans List.
Large prints of all 151 portraits are displayed in this amazing photography museum that uses state of the art technology to attract a new generation of fans. A mock-up of the 8×10 camera attached to an iPad recreates the studio environment, with the grey backdrop and one large floodlight overhead. You may take your own portrait and email it to yourself. We did and it was fun.
See my article about the previous Annenberg exhibit: REFUGEE.