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Murdered Trans Women Honored In Art Show

The Seattle exhibit uses textile and performance art to raise awareness around violence against trans people. 

A multidisciplinary work by artist Jono Vaughan titled Project 42 memorializes transgender people whose lives were cut short by violence. In Project 42, named for the short life expectancy of transgender individuals in the United States, Vaughan recalls their personhood by creating handmade garments inspired by their lives and stories. Vaughan begins with a Google Earth image of a murder location and digitally manipulates it to create an abstract textile print.

Additionally, each garment is worn by a collaborator in a public performances within the gallery space. These unannounced performances sometimes play to an empty room; other times performers are surrounded by spectators. Intended to memorialize the lives of the trans women who inspire them, these performances also allude to the fact that violence against transgender people is sometimes overlooked as cases go unreported or victims are misgendered.

Project 42 is an ongoing series that Vaughan initiated in 2012. The three garments on view at the Seattle Art Museum commemorate the lives and deaths of Myra Ical, Deja Jones, and Lorena Escalera Xtravaganza.

The exhibit is at the Seattle Art Museum until August 5.

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