JJ Levine is a Montreal-based artist working in intimate portraiture. Levine is currently enrolled in a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography program at Concordia University. Mostly known for the series Queer Portraits, Alone Time, and Switch. Levine has been honoured with several awards and received grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. Levine’s work has been exhibited at galleries and art festivals across Canada, the United States, and Europe. As well Alone Time and Switch have been featured in art magazines, journals, and newspapers internationally. Levine's artistic practice balances a radical agenda with a strong formal aesthetic.
Alone Time is a series of brightly coloured photographs of couples sharing intimate interactions of domestic life; however, each “couple” proves to be a single model, appearing as both the male and female character in the same frame. By demonstrating an individual body’s capacity to engagingly and believably embody two genders, my project questions the mainstream depiction of binary gender roles. This conceptual decision to double the gender presentation of a single body challenges normative ideas surrounding gender presentation and instead implies that gender expression can be fluid and multiple. As well, through the technical aspects of my work, I challenge representational tropes: while the individual photographs are shot on slide film, scanned, layered, and digitally collaged to create the final illusion of “two people,” no aspect of the subjects’ genders are digitally altered – the images are successful because they are visually convincing without manipulation of the subjects’ body through means other than makeup, costume, and pose, further emphasizing the notion that gender is malleable.
Alone Time, 2007
23 x 56 cm
Alone Time, 2015
101.6 x 127 cm