Shaped by my experience as a transgender man, my work explores the liminal spaces of identity and transition. Characterized by the ongoing mental, social, and physical taxes of transitioning genders in contemporary American society, I seek to complicate binaries of male/female, productivity/futility, visibility/invisibility, and body/disembodiment. I embrace the possibility and reality of existing as both and neither.
In What Makes a Man, I construct and deconstruct many of these binaries to engage the performative nature of gender in two complementary videos. Dressed in an iconic black suit and tie, I begin to take off one article of clothing after the next until I am completely nude. In the complementary video, I begin nude and slowly dress myself in each piece of the suit until I am fully clothed once more. In a full room, two video installation, the viewer’s bodies and eyes join together two videos on opposite walls, suturing a transgender temporality while confronting their own biases about manhood. In this simple gesture, I ask the audience to consider what actually makes a man, beyond assumptions about his body or appearance.
Through performances, videos, and photography I navigate the dynamic nature of my identity as a process that frequently encompasses change, growth, and loss. Distilling gender theorists and historians such as Judith Halberstam, Susan Stryker, Michel Foucault and Judith Butler allows me to stitch together a complicated and largely absent history of trans* identity politics and find a new place within contemporary theory and art historical contexts both personally, and professionally.I am currently pursuing a body of work that uses the individual narrative as a model to engage with universal experiences to illuminate that which is familiar and human within the other.
“Who has not asked himself at some time or other: am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person?” –Clarice Lispector The Hour of the Star (1977)
Oliver Klicker navigates his identity as a transgender man through poetic performances and sculptures that emphasize the creation, growth, and liminality of his life experiences. His work has been exhibited throughout Florida and the South at large as well as in Europe (where shown) and was featured in an experimental exhibition by the Asheville Art Museum. He is the recipient of multiple awards including a Codified material and fabrication grant in 2012, as well as a first place award at the Creativity in the Arts and Sciences Event in 2013, the Activism in the Arts Award in 2014, and the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award in 2014.
Klicker was born in 1992 in Orlando, Fl. In 2010 he moved to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida where he recieved his BFA in sculpture in 2014. During this time he has been very involved in queer organizations, activism, and social justice movements within the UF community, as well as the Gainesville community at large. Very passionate about his community, he continues to find ways to connect his social activism with his art practice.