JJ LevineMontreal, Canada
JJ Levine is an artist who lives and works in Montreal.
His practice is centred around the LGBTQ+ community’s political demands. He is known for the Queer Portraits, Alone Time and Switch series exhibited in the United States and Europe, likewise published in magazines, newspapers and artist books.
His work has been awarded several prizes and grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. He was shortlisted for the 2019 Prix découverte Louis Roederer presented by the Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles.
In this selection of photos and videos, JJ Levine examines how his family and friends who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community experience friendship, living as a couple and family life. For these people, the privacy of the home is where they can freely express their choices regarding gender and sexuality, choices that are regularly marginalized. Using professional cameras and lighting equipment, JJ Levine recreates a photography studio within the privacy of their domestic environment.
Halfway between staged scene and archive, these portraits reveal real people embodying their own roles in intimate places and times where each reinvents what it means to be a parent. Shown in a public space, JJ Levine’s works offer an alternative to representations of the heteronormative configuration of the family. They shed light on queer and trans family structures that are rarely portrayed in this context or in the media to celebrate both how ordinary and remarkable this reality in fact is.