Featuring all new figurative and still life photographs created in 2020, Shimmer Shimmer draws influence from a history of queer visual activism, artists using New York City as a site of political disruption, and feminist use of the body as a political site – while staying true to Triburgo’s proclivity for camp aesthetics.
After 10 years of transgender “hormone therapy” Triburgo stopped taking testosterone as a durational performance begun during their residency. The desire to occupy new subjective space inspired the physical changes Triburgo underwent and the ensuing photographs in Shimmer Shimmer.
The figurative images in Shimmer Shimmer feature Triburgo’s glitter-adorned nude form in familiar, gendered, art historical poses, photographed by Van Dyck on location at the historically gay section at the People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park in Queens, New York (known as Riis Beach), now a haven during the summer months for NYC queers. In Mars Triburgo’s figure is backed by the iconic, boarded-up sanatorium surrounded by barbed-wire fence that has come to symbolize this anti-assimilationist queer space. Lorenzo’s genderqueer body stands strong in an implied forward motion while one arm reaches back and subtle highlights along their fingertips imply strength and hope for the future.
The shimmer of glitter on Triburgo’s figure suggests a mythical, celestial presence and hints at a connection to astrology, an important mode of connecting with queer community for Triburgo and Van Dyck. The still lifes of glitter as “constellations” with titles such as Sextile and Conjunction reiterate this connection and signal to the viewer that the title Mars, for example, refers to the planet not the (gendered) god.
The performative de-medicalization of Triburgo’s body, layered atop subtle gestural shifts of hip position or shoulder height and the metaphorical use of glitter as a representation of change itself—ever-elusive, perceived differently according to light—culminate in binaries coming undone, collapsing into one another or being non-existent where one might expect them to surface.