Ernst and Drucker The Need For Transgender Stories
April 2, 2019
Chapman’s Escalette Permanent Collection of Art is proud to feature photography from Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker in our newest exhibit, “New Looks: Recent Acquisitions from the Escalette Collection.”
Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst are creators, most widely known for producing the Emmy-winning Amazon series “Transparent.” However, the two also have a passion for photography. In 2014, the two collaborated on a photo series called “Relationship.” It was meant to chronicle the process and evolution of relationship and gender transitions. Initially a private work, the piece is a series of honest, dreamlike photographs that document their romantic partnership over the course of five years. While they were together, Drucker was transitioning from male to female and Ernst was transitioning from female to male. Work that inspires conversations about trans-narratives are at the heart of Ernst and Drucker’s pieces. Their work is inherently political, but they shy away from didacticism, instead focusing on sexuality and intimacy. They both have backgrounds in “auto-ethnography”, which Ernst defined as “the practice of creating self-reflective work, or work that reflected [his] community.” Even though they are no longer a couple, they decided to publish this work anyway. They believe that though transgender stories are becoming more mainstream, there are few public examples of transgender people leading ordinary lives and even fewer cases of transgender people taking control over how they are represented. We are proud to have a few photographs from the series “Relationship” in our exhibit. These photographs can be found on the second floor of Argyros Forum.