Image courtesy of Damian Siqueiros

Instagram Takeover: Damian Siqueiros

Photoworks Annual Issue 24 contributor, Damian Siqueiros is our next guest editor for our Instagram Takeover.

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Damián Siqueiros is a Montreal based image maker, a photographer, not the kind that reflects reality, but the kind that imagines one to transform it into something tangible, most often through multidisciplinary work, may this be art direction, stage design, make-up or styling.

I believe the rules that preside and perpetuate the construction of gender identities within the norm are used often as arguments to justify inequality between the various genders. Not only that, their rigidity often produce malaises that can turn into violence, hatred, and bigotry. Understanding our differences and our similarities, the constructed character of our identities and the fact we can change them, are ways in which photographs can help us achieve gender equality and eliminate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Here are some portraits of people that find themselves at the intersection of gender and ethnic diversity but have managed to become exceptional artists. #ClaudiaChanTak @byebyelittlekitty From the Series Terre d’artiste @AliceTran. From the Series Terre d’artiste Laurence Tremblay Vu, @lautre_vu @10x10to LGBT portraits Susan Paulson, @10x10to LGBT portraits @GerardxReyes as Mata Hari @10x10to LGBT portraits #IGtakeover #Photography #artdirection #artivist @Damiansiqueiros #genderequality #lgbtq #genderidentity #diversitymatters

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Songs of the Inner Chamber, is a literary genre that takes its name from the strict separation of male and female in Korea during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897) . Songs of the Inner Chamber was a great title for my project in Korea for many reasons. The most important perhaps is the empowerment of women through the arts and through activity and behavior that was designed to be submissive but was intelligently subverted. The poems are a trace of the oppression of women throughout Korea’s history. In its name and in its own existence it carries the weight of subjugation and inequality. I wanted to honor the resilience of women by loosely using the idea of poetry and arts as a form of creation. Better said, I wanted to create my images in the way a poem is written. I wanted the public to enjoy the images in the same way a poem is read. Bewilderment, beauty, intrigue, and confrontation all coexisting in one image. The images serve as a mirror for our own societies failings towards attaining real gender equality. The Song of Red #AReumChoi The Song of Freedom #KyongSunSeo The Song of Beauty #SabinaSoojin The Song of War #HyelimKang The song of Men #SanHunLee The song of Heavens @kingpinur #IGTakeover @Damiansiqueiros #Photography #artivism #genderequality #Dance #dancers #heforshe

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As an artist, he is an avid defender of gender equality and he works for the acceptance of diversity as key elements to better our world. He does it ever so gently through an aesthetic that draws from the great masters of painting, such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt and JW Waterhouse. With his work, he seeks to provoke emotions, change conversations and respectful confrontation. His work has earned him great opportunities of being exhibited in museums and galleries throughout North America and Europe. It has also earned him the opportunity to work with amazing artists who he admires, such as choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Canadian dance icon Margie Gillis.

Damián is a beauty seeker, not the shallow version of it, but the one that often hides from the eyes, the one that embraces and enhances the transformative power of art. He is a seeker of beauty because, as Dostoyevsky said “beauty will save the world” and he plans to do it one image at a time.

Dance has been a core element of my work almost since the beginning of my career. Dance is not only a discipline, but has become a language to express what I want to communicate. This idea of performance as a language used in photography is opposed to a great deal of images where the beauty of the form and the movement is the ultimate goal. Most of my subjects are professional performers either from circus arts, contemporary or classical. There is always a clear idea of performance and non-verbal communication in the process of creating the images. Using this discipline as medium allows me to portray our behavior as performative, that is, as a cultural convention according to the social rules governing individuals, situations and spaces. Rose of Jericho, collaboration with #choreograoher #AndrewSkeels and #dancers @aliloop @brtaylor_1 Bird with trimmed wings, Collaboration with #circusartist @Tuebomb #Styling and #makeup @stephane_scotto_di_cesare @tamsen.rae Danza del venado, collaboration with @angel_smg The man that traveled nowhere in time, collaboration with @trip_the_lightfantastic Kaguyahime by #JiriKylian dancers @puregray3 @yadilsll for @grandsballets #igtakeover #photography and #artdirection @damiansiqueiros

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Hey everyone, my name is Damian Siqueiros. I’m a Mexican-Canadian visual artist and I’m taking over this account for the next week. During this time I will share with you my commitment to social causes through art, which makes me assume proudly the role of Artivist. For the last 16 years the causes that have been at the core of my work are gender equality, the rights of the LGBTQ community and recently, Climate Change. Dostoivesky believed that beauty could save the world; Walt Whitman believed that words and poetry could. Every time I see a dance piece or and image that moves me, I believe that too. Every time I create art I set that idea in motion. There’s no point in doing art if you don’t think you can change the world for the better, even if it’s one person at a time. Lastly, I will also dedicate a few images to share with you my process and my love for dance. #IGtakeover #DamianSiqueiros #Photography #genderequality #LGBTQ #artivism #dance #dancers: Mickael Delis, Celeste Pelisser, A Reum Choi, @rena_comm

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For more of Damián’s work, click here. 

For other guest editors, click here. 

Related project: Instagram Takeover

We invite emerging and established practitioners to takeover the Photoworks Instagram account for seven days.

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