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A series of photographs, 60 x 40 cm each, taken in Greensbourgh, North carolina, USA, in 2011

Contrary to the Hermaphrodite, the Androgyn resides in a state of gender nullification. Androgynous space is liminal space within which an individual often attempts through action to subvert heteronormative behavior and modes of dress and question the agency of the physical self over the identity of the whole individual. Androgyny is performative gesture that blurs the notion of an identifiable gender - to perform in an androgynous way is a process of rejecting accepted gender norms that confine the fluidity of one’s sexual or gender identity. Androgyny is an in-between space, often activated by an individual or group as a subversive gesture aimed at disrupting the conventional notions of heterosexual livelihood - to incite confusion, question agency over identity, and perhaps generate participation and collectivity. Attard’s portraits construct their own sense of androgyny by piecing together through association different individual gestures, glances, gazes, and postures. The nuances of style comparatively represented in each portrait are placed between the male-female pole where they incorporate cultural elements from each, an aggressively masculine lean-to lends its meaning to a more feminine laying of hands upon crossed legs. In each case the subject’s own visage defies the characteristic of either, or, and neither, and persons appear in each portrait to address the collective confusion that comes with the viewer’s own insistence at regulating identity.


A series of photographs, 60 x 40 cm each, taken in Greensbourgh, North carolina, USA, in 2011

Trans Formations exposes the elemental forms of a performative gesture orchestrated between gender, identity, and theatricality. For this series Attard employed artists from Greensboro to style models as a means of transformation from one pole to the other. The performance, however, cannot be located in a singular frame or a single element of style, but instead is composed of the movements between frames and between identities. Attard’s images of men turning into women and women into men explore a gendered and sexed performance of styles, composed as much of gestures, costumes, make-up, and hair-cuts as they are of the perceived characteristic of masculinity and femininity that emerge in each portrait. The studio as a lab is evident in this work. The lack of any other information in the photograph except what is literally on the faces and bodies of the subjects allows the process of transformation to be revealed in as matter of fact a manor as is possible.



A series of portrait photographs, 50x 35 cm each, taken in Malta and Gozo, for the project WherE are you from?, 2008.

“Where are you from? This is probably the first question we ask a stranger on the first encounter. It is the ice-breaker that precludes the beginning of a friendship or relationship. It is a phrase that opens doors to newly found acquaintances. Norbert Attard’s site-specific installation is a statement about globalisation, multiculturalism and diversity. It is a series of honest, unadulterated and revealing portraits where the subjects’s gaze engages us and seems to be asking us the same question of where are we from and in the process inviting us to join this eclectic mix of lifestyles and to participate actively in breaking down the negative perceptions of physical appearance and race. Each portrait is executed with great economy of design and Attard has made clever choices with regards to the unobtrusive yet sometimes colourful backgrounds that in many instances complement the sitter and his/her lifestyle. The attire, accessories and any other props all add up to create this vibrant piece.

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