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Joël Alain Dervaux : Kler, states of presence


The exhibition “Kler, états de présence” by Joël Alain Dervaux is presented at 21, rue Guénégaud in the 6th arrondissement in Paris.

Kler is the first name of the young trans man who became the subject of this photographic project by Joël-Alain Dervaux.

He encountered her modest world through her images published on social networks and became a witness to her transition. The meetings and the photographic sessions take place at spaced intervals linked by an ongoing dialogue.

Clothing and accessories from a men’s wardrobe represent a first privileged means of appropriation of gender, while the process of injections takes place and other signifiers of the masculine become flesh.

A quest for identity driven by desire.


Kler, states of presence

Achieving being yourself is most often an intense struggle.

Against pretenses, against social expectations, against the general view imposing on us a role, an ethos.

Kler chose the path of courage, his process of identity revelation being not a metamorphosis but an intimate recognition.

What do appearances tell us about our interior life? how to match? How far should we go in discarding old trappings? when will the reunion party take place?

For several years, Joël-Alain Dervaux has witnessed the development of a young man assigned as girl at birth.

Nothing demonstrative or documentary in all of his photographs forming a corpus, but a mutual abandonment to the mystery of what is an introspection for two, a movement of great modesty, from one towards the other.Everyone takes the risk, everyone reveals themselves, through the attention to framing, the extreme care taken in the gesture of creation, and the pleasure of being truly looked at beyond the dance of veils that constitutes wearing clothes.

Photographing moments of presence, Joël-Alain Dervaux reflects the risk and the beauty of being true, without masking the doubts inherent in the very difficult process of individuation.

Kler unfolds and folds, wrings and unravels his hands, gathers himself in an almost fetal attitude of protection and opens himself to space.

It is a dance, a double ellipse of exteriorization and interiorization.

We must imagine, in the invisibleness of the shooting sessions, the permanence of a dialogue from being to being, from soul to soul, from fragility to fragility, from power to power.

These images are also words, sentences, silences, searches for understanding in conversations of trust.

Kler adorns himself with the trappings of masculinity, while shaking up the codes.

Rings, earrings, necklace, tattoos, frilled shirt, culottes, stretch pants, beret.

Pride of a thin hairiness less exhibited than serenely victorious.

Kler is a loner contemplating the ocean, a Parisian titi, a Chevalier d’Eon lying on the oyats, a sweet bad boy wearing a pocket watch around his neck.

What time is it on the winding paths of the affirmed genre? When will I finally be rid of my chrysalis? who will love me as I am?

The beautiful child closes her eyes, she’s a little page.

The page falls asleep, he is a teenager learning how to use weapons.

The teenager dreams of being a magnetic man walking confidently down the street.

Joël-Alain Dervaux photographs tipping points, precarious balances, and the strength of a relationship of which art  created together in complete freedom is the foundation.

Fabien Ribery


Exhibition curator Valérie Fougeirol

Joël Alain Dervaux : Kler, états de présence
Exhibition from March 13 to April 6, 2024
21 rue Guénégaud 75006 Paris

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