Wednesday, June 15, 2011

JJ Levine's Switch

Reading Genderfork today directed me to the photography of JJ Levine, "a Montreal-based artist, who works in intimate portraiture... Levine works mostly in photography and video, and through these visual media, explores issues surrounding gender, sexuality, self-identity, and queer space."

I found Levine's Alone Time and Switch portfolios fascinating.

Alone Time is a series of photos portraying male and female couples involved in a variety of mundane and not-so-mundane activities. The catch is that the male and female in each couple is the same person. In most cases, I cannot determine if the person portraying the couple is natal male or female.

Switch is similar, but different. It portrays young male and female couples posing in prom wear. Each couple appears in two photos, side-by-side (as above). In one photo, one half of the couple wears male clothing and the other half of the couple wears female clothing. In the other photo, they switch; the person who wore male clothing in the first photo now wears female clothing and the person who wore female clothing in the first photo now wears male clothing.

I believe I figured out who was natal sex-wise in this set of photos, but it is so well done that I would not be surprised if I erred.

JJ Levine has other portfolios on the website; some trans-related, some not, but all are wonderful.

Enjoy! (I know I did.)


  1. Amazing pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  2. AnonymousJune 15, 2011

    So much of it is in the apple boxes.

    Not so easy in real life.

  3. Amazing, and very interesting, like you I think I can spot who is who in some of Switch photos, but what is interesting to me is that in most of the photos everyone looked more comfortable in fem dress

  4. the portfolio is really amazing. I am glad you found it and made it known.

  5. Dear Stana,

    Fascinating photography! The photographer was very clever in posing the models in each pair. It appears he may have posed the shorter person (most likely the genetic female) on a box to make "him" appear taller as a "man". Notice that the height relationships of the 2 models usually seem to switch. What do you think?



  6. Sheila --- I agree: the heights were adjusted maybe using the "apple box" that the second comment above refers to.

  7. AnonymousJune 16, 2011

    Wow, so HOT!!! I'll do that too!!!

  8. Hi there,
    I know this is late to the game, but I wanted to delurk from your fabulous blog to add this: I'm pretty sure all the pictures in Levine's Queer Fiction series are of couples in which both members are female-assigned at birth. So, in the Switch pictures, I believe the concept being explored is the ability of female-assigned queer people to femulate and masculate as required. It's good to keep in mind how much any gender presentation can require a lot of conscious and deliberate labor, even when it's what's considered 'natural' by the broader society.