serena.t.jara@gmail.com

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Serena Jara is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist, working as a photographer, videographer, and DJ. In her videos and photography, she reflects on relationships with other queer or trans individuals, contesting the cis-normative gaze that has dominated images of transgender people historically. Using direct eye contact and rigorous framing, she explores tensions within the double edged sword of trans visibility. While her portraiture critiques a contemporary moment built on cis consumption of transgender bodies, the artist decidedly uses beauty as a tool of opposition, retelling co-opted stories of transness. 


Jara's work centers on relationships, taking inspiration from dialogues between the artist and her friends. Photography allows her to visualize the feeling of being seen and heard that often counterbalances her tendency towards self-sabotage. Because of her own whiteness and proximity to violent standards of beauty, Jara questions what it means to be rewarded by a visual culture that excludes trans people who aren't digestible, passable, thin or white enough. Portraiture creates a space for introspection around why her and her friends stay inside more often than going out, but it can also lead to the exploration of personal style and gesture. The artist's self-portraits allow her to process emotions of emptiness in ways that do not have to appear falsely complete or even empowering. She often considers her potential to move from the role of a friend into that of a voyeur, even within her own community, choosing to prioritize the trust of her collaborators. 


Additionally, Jara uses sound as an outlet for her emotions, contrasting personal truths with self-made delusions through music and DJing. She co-curates a radio show called HEARTkORE RADIO, founded by herself and Bryn Barnett, in which both artists spotlight their musical inspirations via monthly shows with contemporary acts. Her work has been featured in institutions such as MOMA PS1, Fundación del Centro Cultural del México Contemporáneo, Dixon Place Theatre, and Cuchifritos Gallery, as well as online publications such as DIS, V Magazine, Refinery 29, and Mic. 

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