Artist Statement >>

OBSERVE is a collaboration between Rachel Eliza Griffiths and Maya Pindyck. As two Jewish artists, we are interested in the ways gender is linked with ritual in Judaism. Using black and white photography—pointing to the dichotomous aspects of religion—we invite Jewish subjects to transform into an observant Jew of the opposite sex. Through cross-dressing, makeup, and the option to enact a religious observance, both artists and subjects consider what it means to access a gender-bound tradition and to blur what seems so clearly defined. The process and resulting photographs play with outward appearances, posing a simple question to the viewer: What do you observe?

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