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Reflection by La Trape

Eighteen portraits extend along the octagonal perimeter of spazioSERRA.
The subjects are queer individuals, who use their bodies in order to convey a performance.
Their identities, their gender expression, and how they choose to stage them often demand breaking away from labels and categorizations.
In a world where Drag Race has mainstreamed the phenomenon of drag queens, an already outdated, coded and packaged queer imaginary enters the mainstream and becomes known even outside the LGBTQIA+ niche. But if queer performance is the art of freedom, it cannot accept the compromise of “cleaning up” to be appreciated by many. It needs to be raw, dirty, direct.
That's why the subjects are portrayed against minimal backgrounds, without posing or styling cues: to narrate themselves with authenticity.
The photographs gaze outward, becoming visible to anyone passing through the Milano Lancetti train station. They don't ask to be understood, they don't ask to be accepted; they demand to exist.


If the advent of social media has given ample space to performative activism, it is instead in the performativity of one's own body that an intrinsic activism is found, because in it there is an undeniable truth.
The truth lies in the so-called fantasy. In an imaginary world that sometimes tells an aspiration, sometimes a dress rehearsal, or a double, an opposite that completes us. The image can be antithetical to the one presented outside of the performance or extremely similar. It may involve gestures, music, stage tricks, or merely an image.
The space is empty, free, open. And it is perfect for telling a truth that emerges from "fiction". If this world traps us and the superstructures suffocate us, in that emptiness there are no boundaries, there are no limits.
That's why that truth is transitory, because bodies, identities, loves, attractions, can be fluid, and continuously change shape. Today more than ever, as queer individuals, we need to assert our need to self-determine as individual threads indispensable to the social fabric.
That's how these images tell a precise truth, of a precise moment, fleeting, perhaps unrepeatable; the shape that the river had at that instant of its course towards the sea.
There are no posing instructions, there are no styling cues, there are no backgrounds. There is a subject and their self-narration, there is a photographer and their gaze that is open, that is close, that sometimes seeks a reflection in that same water...

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