NEW YORK, NY.-
This fall, the New Museum
will publish Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility, edited by Reina Gossett, Eric A. Stanley, and Johanna Burton. Trap Door, to be released November 2017, is the third installment in the New Museums Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture series, following the publication of Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century (2015), edited by Lauren Cornell and Ed Halter, and Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good (2016), edited by Johanna Burton, Shannon Jackson, and Dominic Willsdon.
The increasing representation of trans identity throughout art and popular culture in recent years has been nothing if not paradoxical. Trans visibility is continually touted as a sign of liberalist transformation, but it has coincided precisely with a political moment marked both by heightened violence against trans people (especially trans women of color) and by the suppression of trans rights under civil law. Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility grapples with these contradictions. It both considers how mainstream representation and co-optation inevitably alter trans identities and confronts the radical incongruity of societys simultaneous acceptance and forceful rejection of those same identities.
The essays, conversations, and dossiers gathered in Trap Door delve into themes as wide-ranging yet interconnected as beauty, performativity, activism, and police brutality. Collectively, they attest to how trans people are frequently offered doorsentrances to visibility and recognitionthat are actually traps, accommodating trans bodies and communities only insofar as they cooperate with hegemonic norms. In turn, the volume speculates about a third term, perhaps uniquely suited for our time: the trapdoor, that clever contraption that is neither entrance nor exit, but instead a secret passageway leading elsewhere. Building on the legacy of art historical and related dialogues around difference, Trap Door thus ignites a conversation that extends through and beyond trans culture, insisting that while these debates and dialogues are specific, they nevertheless have great relevance for anyone invested in the ethics of visual culture.
In conjunction with the fall exhibition Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon, Trap Door continues a deep exploration of gender across the New Museums fall 2017 programming, with this extraordinary collection of essays and authors probing the topic of trans identity in contemporary culture, said Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum.
List of Contributors: Lexi Adsit, Sara Ahmed, Nicole Archer, Kai Lumumba Barrow, Johanna Burton, micha cárdenas, Mel Y. Chen, Yve Laris Cohen, Grace Dunham, Treva Ellison, Sydney Freeland, Che Gossett, Reina Gossett, Stamatina Gregory, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Robert Hamblin, Eva Hayward, Juliana Huxtable, Abram J. Lewis, Heather Love, Park McArthur, CeCe McDonald, Toshio Meronek, Fred Moten, Tavia Nyongo, Morgan M. Page, Roy Pérez, Dean Spade, Eric A. Stanley, Jeannine Tang, Wu Tsang, Jeanne Vaccaro, Chris E. Vargas, Geo Wyeth, Kalaniopua Young, Constantina Zavitsanos