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In the world that Martine Gutierrez photographs, she exists as the cynosure of global desire. The artist’s self-produced (and wholly independent) art publication, Indigenous Woman (2018), places variations of her image and body at the center of countless mise-en-scène, as she disrupts, subverts, and reappropriates the rarified space of cisgendered identity and whiteness—no longer unquestioned ideals for principal bodies in popular culture and iconography.
Through fashion spreads, product advertisements, and original text, Indigenous Woman deploys fluidity to reveal how deeply racism, colorism, sexism, transphobia and other biases are embedded and ubiquitous. Selections from the full 124-page Indigenous Woman body of work have been exhibited all over the world, including the 58th Venice Biennale.
“Mine is a practice of full autonomy. All photography, modeling, styling, makeup, hair, lighting, graphic design, and product design, I have created myself.” – Martine Gutierrez, text from Indigenous Woman
This exhibition of Gutierrez’s photographs, presented in the Print Study Room of the MoCP galleries, represents selections from the Indigenous Woman larger body of work. Later this summer, Martine Gutierrez at the Museum of Contemporary Photography will coincide with the artist’s Public Art Fund exhibition of a new series of photographs on 350 JCDecaux bus shelters across Chicago and New York City, opening in August 2021.
“We are conditioned to assume that physical appearance is, in fact, identity, which is often not the case. As mixed transwomen, we’re often seen as male when we feel female, or have been assumed to be from another culture because our ethnicities are ambiguous. None of us fit neatly into one category.” – Martine Gutierrez
Martine Gutierrez at the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago is organized by Asha Iman Veal, Curatorial Fellow at the MoCP.
Artist Bio / Martine Gutierrez (b. 1989, Berkeley, CA) is an artist, performer, and musician who produces elaborate narrative scenes that employ tropes of pop culture to explore the complexity, fluidity, and nuances of both personal and collective identity in terms of race, gender, class, indigeneity, and culture. Working across performance, photography, and film, Gutierrez simultaneously acts as subject, artist, and muse. She asserts control over her own image by executing every stage of the creative process—staging, lighting, makeup, costuming, modeling, and photography. Gutierrez received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. She is also a published musician and has produced several commercial videos. Gutierrez lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
The MoCP is supported by Columbia College Chicago, the MoCP Advisory Board, the Museum Council, individuals, and private and corporate foundations. The 2020-2021 exhibition season is sponsored by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Efroymson Family Fund, and the Philip and Edith Leonian Foundation.
Martine Gutierrez has been generously supported through The David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Impact Fund for Photography and the Sandquist/Kinney Foundation.