Gayface

Lauren Tabak

January 17 - March 13, 2020

On January 17th, 2020, The Laundry Gallery proudly presents, Gayface, a solo exhibition featuring photographic works by Lauren Tabak. The exhibition opens on January 17th and continues through March 13th, with an artist’s reception on Friday, January 17th, from 6:00-8:00 PM. Reception and works are located in the Salon Gallery.


Through portraiture, Lauren Tabak explores modern queer identity. How we are seen; what signals are used to be fully seen; how does this affect our communities? Tabak traverses the landscape of changing identity in the Bay Area. At once her subjects and collaborators are celebrated while allowed to share their most vulnerable edges.


Gayface 

noun 

gay•face\ ˈgā- fās 

1. An obvious, apparent, or stereotypical appearance of 

homosexuality based on a person's countenance often characterized by effeminacy in males and masculinity in females. 


“I put a lot of thought into how I present and how it relates to what I do and do not desire. This body and ego wants attention, validation, sex, community, resources, safety. It’s 2019 in San Francisco, and how my sexuality/gender is read shouldn’t matter, but it does (to me). 

I wondered, is this a shared experience within my community, or just my own particular insecurities? As queer people, can we simply exist as our consistent selves? “Is passing relevant anymore?”, a friend asked. “It’s not about passing - it’s about flagging”, was both my defense and hypothesis. To test my theory, I reached out to my friends, took their portraits, and posited the following questions: 

Do you think you have gayface? If not, do you make yourself visible to other queers (flagging)? How? If you do think you are *visibly queer all the time* (gayface), please reflect on how that makes you feel in certain spaces? Think about race, class, privilege, age, location etc. 

What you see on these walls and on the _Gayface instagram account are the results. Please draw your own conclusions directly from the sources. 

The goal is to take this project on the road, to shoot and show in other cities, and to have meaningful, connected conversations about our unique and universal human experiences.”


Lauren Tabak (b. 1979, Whittier, California) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose creative practices are driven by the desire to facilitate human connection. Like many artists, she hopes that the stories she shares through music, film and photography have the ability to shift perspectives and create empathy amongst viewers. Recent creative projects include Gayface, Jobby Jobs, The Fro-Choice Feminist Yogurt Co. and The Lexington Club Archival Project. Her commercial work, including directing music videos, comedic shorts and online documentaries with artists like The Rolling Stones and Kendrick Lamar has appeared in Slate, Pitchfork, Spin, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, NPR, Funny or Die and other places one goes to be entertained on the web. In 2016, she received an NLGJA award for Excellence in Online Journalism. In 2017, she made her pop music debut in the Frameline Film Festival as Elle Empty with the music video "Born To Love You". She's currently working on a lesbian western. She lives in San Francisco with her dog Louis.

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