next Exhibition in PARIS - Hôtel Les Deux Girafes
4 April - 2 July 2023 / Vernissage 15 April 2023
Metamorphosis - the fascination of transformation
I am very happy to announce my very first show in Paris in 2023, where Metamorphosis will be shown at L'Hôtel Les Deux Girafes from 3rd April 2023 to the 2nd July 2023. Vernissage will take place on 15th April 2023 from 16 to 20 pm.
Metamorphosis takes its viewers into the world of vaudeville, travesty and drag queens - into a world that is mostly unknown to us. The exhibition uses portraits to show the metamorphosis, i.e. the transformation of the various artists into their individual artistic figure.
Two pictures are dedicated to each artist: one shows the artist as a man, the other after the fascinating transformation into a supposed woman.
The exposition thrives on contrasts and provokes through the non-ordinary. It shows the viewers of the photographs how, with a lot of colour, artificial brilliants and a large portion of skill, the created illusion can supposedly become reality. Yet on closer inspection, each transformation is very quickly relativised by the characteristics of the physionomy. This makes the effect of the transformations all the more fascinating.
In the exhibition, the double portraits are given an additional voice and interactivity through a personal statement by the portrayed and video installations. Namely, the interview " Confessions of a Drag Queen " with Jazzmin Dian Moore is shown. Jazzmin gives visitors a private and revealing insight into her life as a drag queen in Switzerland. Supplementary black-and-white pictures allow a look behind the scenes, in the dressing room mirrors and on the make-up table and take you into a world that is otherwise reserved for the artists. The scent of fresh powder, sweet perfume and sprayed-on hair lacquer can almost be smelled.
15 artists are portrayed. They perform regularly in Zurich, Lucerne, Basel, Lausanne and in Germany. Professional and amateur artists are represented: Goss Ipa, Jazzmin Dian Moore, Vicky Goldfinger, Milky Diamond, France Delon, Jeff van Phil, Odette Hella'Grand, Effi Mer Delamaskis, Vanessa la Wash, Carrie 666, Tessa Testikel, Stella Divine, Eva Detox, Petra, Pia Spatz. The portraits were taken between July 2017 and April 2018.
Metamorphosis was shown for the first time in June 2018 at Photobastei in Zurich, then at Hotel Platzhirsch in Zurich (July to October 2018) and at Photo-Schweiz - the biggest photography show of Switzerland - from 10 to 14 January 2019 (www.photo-schweiz.ch). Metamorphosis was also shown at the Pestalozzi Bibliothek in 2019 in honor for the gay pride (29 May to 11 August 2019).
On 13 June 2018, I organised a panel discussion on the topic as part of my exhibition. It was moderated by Jazzmin Dian Moore. Herself, Odette Hella'Grand, Stella Divine and Effi Meister spoke about their being, their motivation to transform and their personal experiences. The panel discussion was supported by the Zurich Pride Festival.
29.5 - 11.08.2019
6 - 17.6.2018
19.7 - 17.10.2018
I am fascinated by the transformation of the drag artists, how they transform their face and whole body into a completely different person for the viewer.
I find it exciting to look at both portraits at the same time. At first you think they are two different people. A man and a woman. When you look at them more closely, you realise that it is the same person behind them; one is completely natural and the other, with a lot of skill and finesse, totally transformed. This makes you realise how much talent and time it takes to create this great illusion.
As already mentioned, the double portraits are complemented by a personal statement of the portrayed. These statements show that they transform themselves for different reasons. One identifies as a female impersonator and cabaret artist, the other created her character to help with the Zurich AIDS charity. Another declares that he wants to experience his feminine side. Many do it because they love to do a show and thus bring joy to the audience. Many also want to promote values like tolerance and diversity through their art.
I first photographed most of the artists as men. I then witnessed the transformation, which took at least one to two hours. Then I was able to take additional exciting black-and-white pictures. I was allowed to take more behind-the-scenes pictures at last year's edition of the Heaven Drag Race in September 2017.
Pictures of the Exhibition at Photobastei
The aim of the project is to introduce the drag queen scene to a wider audience and to promote values such as diversity, tolerance and acceptance among all visitors and the entire population. This is still very important nowadays.
Podiumtalk at Photobastei
Photos: Stefanie Koehler Photography https://www.stefaniekoehler.ch
Vernissage at Photobastei
Photos: Barbara Keller (https://www.barbarakeller.ch), Stefanie Koehler (https://www.stefaniekoehler.ch) und Martin Ramsauer https://www.martinramsauer.ch
Confessions of a drag Queen with Jazzmin Dian Moore
Jazzmin Dian Moore http://instagram.com/jazzmindianmoore @jazzmindianmoore
Filming and editing: Scott McNamara http://scottmcnamara.net
Producer: Pascal Bovey Photography
Making of video mit Eva Detox, Odette Hella Grand and Tessa Testicle
Eva Detox https://www.instagram.com/evadetox/
Odette Hella Grand http://odettehellagrand.ch
Tessa Testicle https://www.instagram.com/tessatesticle/
Filming and editing: Xavier Mikkelsen https://www.nndrthl.com
Assistant: Stefanie Koehler Photography https://www.stefaniekoehler.ch
Producer: Pascal Bovey Photography