Mandy Romero is a creative artist and transgender provocateur whose work has taken her across continents and round the world, whilst also staying close to her native lands. She has worked with live performance, film, photography, site-specific actions and web-based writing and continues to have fun in each and every medium.
A long-term archiving project initially supported by Metal Liverpool, TReasured.org.uk is described by the artist as a “poetics of trans” and a “living encyclopedia of trans experience”. The website will launch formally on the 1st April 2023 at the Museum of Liverpool as part of Trans Day of Visibility.
Below is an Artist Blog written by Mandy specifically for the occasion.
“When did it all start? One day, probably, more decades ago than I care to remember, when as a trans-interested individual, I laid hands on, say, a magazine article which opened up a whole world of possibility and anxious adventure in the world of gender Which article was it? I can’t remember, but I tore the article out and kept it and read it often and so began the long treasuring which brought me (and now the world) to the TReasured web-site. Cuttings accumulated over time, and then books and tickets and flyers. Then came the Internet and my daily ration of on-line news and features started to include links to stories and information about trans. By now I was doing and being trans and I began to know that I was part of some growing movement, a big old social manifestation. And I was having experiences of my own, and writing about them, and travelling as trans and capturing all that. And the pictures! From the Millennium onwards I took pictures of my trans life and had others take pictures, and even started to make short films. Shelves, hard-drives, folders, all swelling with trans-ness.
When did it all start? There was a moment, maybe for all of us, when I realized that transgender was now an Issue, something for people to argue about. And not always nicely. It had never been particularly easy to be and do trans but now it was sometimes like flying into a tornado. Now commitment needed to be signalled, experience to be declared, information to be shared. And I considered my Trans Treasury, which had so far been my way of learning about myself and others, with pleasure and wonder, and I began to think that it needed sharing, putting out there, to encourage and inform others.
When did it all start? With Covid, maybe, and lockdown, and the artist’s enforced retreat into reflection. Time for projects to be hatched, time to get organized. And there’s Metal offering small residency fees for people to sit at home and do just that, ready for the day we could all spring forth and do art again. At second asking they said Yes to my proposal to start the online something that became TReasured. That’s how an idea becomes a reality. And I set about looking through the mass of my treasurings to work out how to share them online, but I was also being Covid-canny and I asked my allies at Metal if I could use the fee to match-fund an application to the Arts Council to do the whole big thing, – website design, accompanying films, promotion. And at second asking ACE said Yes, bless them, and away we went. And here we nearly are.
When did it all start? When I was born? Somewhere genetically deep in history? When I first saw Sweet on Top of the Pops? The important thing is that it has begun and that one result of the Deluge of Attention now paid to transgender is that people say yes. And the first Yes came from Metal.
When does it all end? Not soon or maybe ever. Now begins the continuous treasuring – more and more added to the site, not just what I find but what I go out and ask for, what I try to catch before it disappears. And Metal and I are hoping to take the project further, into new territory. It doesn’t end until the Outrage has subsided, the Furore abated, the Attacks and Misinformation have been countered. It doesn’t end until it’s comfortable and accepting for trans in society, until our difference is recognized and respected. If TReasured can advance that happy state by even a short while it will have been worth the effort.”
Mandy Romero began her Live Art career at Liverpool’s 2002 Biennial in a performance piece produced by Guillermo Gomez-Pena. Previous to that she had begun performing on the first of her “Dragging Round the World” circumnavigations of the globe. In 2003 she was one of three Associate Artists in Live Art at the Liverpool Bluecoat Arts Centre where, amongst a number of works created, she premiered the “live” version of her transgender epic “The Mandayana”. After the second of her global tours in 2004 she was given a Fellowship in Live Art by the Arts Council to spend two months in residence at the Cable Factory in Helsinki. In 2005 she extended her involvement with the Liverpool Tate through a number of gallery-based performances and trained in Improvisation with Andrew Morrish the Australian dancer/improviser in Amsterdam.
Official Launch: The TReasured website will be launched on Transgender Day Of Visibility (TDoV), April 1st 2023 with an event at Liverpool Museum. Other significant dates & performances TBA.
For more, visit:
TReasured is generously supported by Arts Council England, Homotopia Festival, Writing on the Wall, National Museums Liverpool and Metal Liverpool.
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