Lukáš Houdek. Hijra – Between Genders

Temporary exhibitions

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  • Thursday, March 30, 2023, 6:00 PM - Sunday, September 17, 2023

The exhibition by Lukáš Houdek, an artist in the MOCAK Collection, explores the subject of the Hijra community in India. ‘Hijra’ is a term used in South Asian countries that refers primarily to people recognised at birth as male, but who reject this identification. Some have undergone gender reassignment procedure, while others remain at the stage of hormone therapy or have not made any permanent changes to their bodies.

The artist first encountered this phenomenon when staying in India in 2008. Four years later, after studying the available written sources, he decided to take a closer look at the community and experience its life. His interest has resulted in two art projects, which Houdek has continued since 2012. He has produced two photographic series documenting the daily life of the hijras, which will be shown in the Beta Gallery.

The first, entitled Lilies, is a series of nearly 130 black-and-white photographs taken on the streets of Delhi, which are portraits of people who belong to or identify with the community. The second, Ritika, is a series of colour photographs documenting the past 10 years in the life of a hijra.

The exhibition shows the multidimensionality and complexity of this community, which for centuries had a high standing and recognition in the Indian peninsula. Today, however, it has to cope with adapting to the realities of the modern world.

The exhibition also provides an insight into the story and daily struggles of a person from the Hijra community and their attempts to understand themselves and define who they really are, often faced with not being accepted by their family and society.



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