Artist and Filmmaker Zackery Drucker Discusses LGBTQA art with Students

On October 20, I attended the Alternative Cinema Screening with Zackery Drucker at Golden Auditorium in Little Hall. I absolutely loved this screening and lecture, as it showcased Miss Drucker’s unique performance and video art. Zackery Drucker is a transartist and filmmaker originally from Syracuse, NY who now lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She earned a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts and an MFA in photography from the California Institute of the Arts. Drucker occupies an upper echelon of increasingly visible trans icons such as Boychild, Hari Nef and Laverne Cox. Her body of work encompasses both filmmaking and performance art centered around trans and LGBTQA narratives. Her work has been featured by a number of famous institutions such as The Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA PS1. 

Drucker came off as funny, honest and intelligent in her introduction. The first piece we watched, a short film called “She Gone Rogue,” was entertaining and chock full of intriguing cinematographic techniques. Drucker’s use of symbolism through the signification of objects such as diamond-studded walkers and clay female genitalia added a mysterious element to her film. The costumes in the film were strikingly unique and bizarre. The settings were also typically whimsical and almost consuming as they were full of stimuli from magazine cutouts to posters to vibrant wallpapers. 

The second piece shown was a short, five-minute mini feature that was part of the Transparent TV series. Drucker is an associate producer for the Transparent series, acting as a specialist on transgender norms. This feature presented a conversation between three trans women at a kitchen table. They discuss their experiences and the struggles they’ve encountered in a world that is often averse to trans individuals. In the next scene, a larger group of trans women, led by Drucker, throw high heels over a telephone wire where one of their trans “sisters” was murdered. The voices and subtitles describing disturbing facts regarding trans murders were particularly poignant. I thought this short feature was unnerving but realistic, as it pointed out disturbing realities that many trans people deal with. 

Drucker then showed us a very personal photo series titled “Relationship.” It outlined the relationship between her and her partner Rhys Ernst. It also documented both individuals’ gender transitions (Rhys: female to male, Zackery: male to female). This was, by far, the most personal piece of art I have ever encountered. The photos that Drucker showed to us depicted the warm embraces, smiles, hardships and life-changing experiences that come with a relationship. They also brought to light the hardships that individuals who are transitioning into another gender face.

Overall, I thought the event was amazing and that Drucker was an incredible artist and really cared about revealing herself to us through her work. I encourage anyone interested in video art, filmmaking or LGBTQA studies to check out her work.