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Zackary Drucker & Rhys Ernst
Film still
HD video, color, sound
22:00 min.

Zackary Drucker is an independent artist, cultural producer, and trans woman who breaks down the way we think about gender, sexuality, and seeing. She has performed and exhibited her work internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals including the Whitney Biennial 2014, MoMA PS1, Hammer Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, MCA San Diego, and SF MoMA, among others. Drucker is an Emmy-nominated Producer for the docu-series This Is Me, as well as a Producer on Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Transparent.

Drucker earned an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007 and a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2005. Her recent videos and films include Mother Comes To Venus (2018), created in collaboration with Emmy and Golden Globe-winning director Jill Soloway (Transparent), and featuring queer rapper Mykki Blanco and trans actress Alexandra Grey; SHE GONE ROGUE (created in collaboration with transgender film director Rhys Ernst), presented in the 2014 Whitney Biennial; Fan the Flames, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Flaten Art Museum, St. Olaf College, Minneapolis; Made in L.A. 2012 (Los Angeles Biennial), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and At least you know you exist, presented at MoMA PS1 and the 3rdMoscow Biennial for Young Art, among many other notable venues. Other videos include One Fist, The Inability to Be Looked At, and The Horror of Nothing to See, Lost Lake, FISH: A Matrilineage of Cunty White-Woman Realness, and You will never be a woman. You must live the rest of your days entirely as a man and will only grow more masculine with every passing year. There is no way out.

Drucker has also performed and exhibited her work internationally in numerous museums, galleries, and film festivals including the 54th Venice Biennale (Swiss Off-Site Pavilion); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; ICA London; Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Curtat Tunnel, Lausanne, Switzerland; L.U.C.C.A. Museum of Contemporary Art, Lucca, IT; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Tromso Kunstaforening, Tromso, Norway; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Hammer Museum, REDCAT and LACE, all in Los Angeles, among others. She is represented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.

5 East 73rd Street (2011) is a series of photographs by artist Zackary Drucker named for a dilapidated alcove apartment in upper-Manhattan—a crowded, unwieldy space filled with the rich, feverish history of famous drag queen, Mother Flawless Sabrina. Known as Jack to those close to him, he lived in the same apartment for four decades. Over a two-year period, Drucker worked with Jack in his apartment to weave a fluid, parallel text of their intersecting lives. Navigating the real and the unconscious, oscillating between documentary and myth narrative, 5 East 73rd Street is an altogether novel exploration of trans-identity that attempts to subvert traditional documentary and exploitative methods of representation.


Jack hit the drag scene in the late 1950s and quickly became a powerhouse entrepreneur, annually organizing up to 46 drag balls in different parts of the country, including “The Nationals," an end of the year finale held in New York City. The Queen, a 1967 documentary that features Jack as a twenty-something MC and producer, reveals his apartment in its glory days: a bustling hangout where queens, cross-dressers, trannies, and fags mingled and philosophized about their lifestyles and genders, drag, social and familial acceptance or rejection, Vietnam and the draft, among other things. 5 East 73rd Street is a time capsule, a transformer, and it remained a junction for eclectic queers until his death in 2018. Jack positioned herself as the matriarch and mentor of New York’s young queer counter-culture, holding court: a mythical oracular hermaphrodite, a shaman, a Buddha, a contemporary Plato or Socrates generating a new intellectual order with her young protégés.


Drucker's desire “to photographically materialize this individual and site-specific history and also to document the legacy that is being passed down from a lost generation to a newer, more visible one," has become increasingly important in the years since the project was first exhibited. This "project encapsulates both my identification with Jack and an exploration of unknown parts of me; it also considers the trajectory and unexpected life path of trans identified persons. It is about mortality, about the revelation that it is possible to lead a sustainable transgender lifestyle. Jack offers a survival strategy and a window into the bohemian queer culture of the 1960s, a lost generation, wiped out by AIDS and overdoses. It is about aging—the double force of global culture and drag culture, which both privilege youth and sexiness, creating a new beauty standard with the DIY tactics of pre-Stonewall drag performativity and display while simultaneously revolutionizing contemporary drag practice.”


5 East 73rd Street speaks to the fleeting, fluid, ever-changing state of identity. Like memory—flashes of brilliant color set against stretches of unintelligible darkness—5 East 73rd Street uncovers history and presents it alongside depictions of Jack and Drucker, creating a narrative about ways of seeing, identity construction, and cultural celebration. Reinscribing the master narrative, recreating icons and creating new ones, 5 East 73rd Street is a utopic, amorphous, journey of desire where fantasy and culture coincide.

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