In a Sprawling Collaboration, an Artist and Her Subject Craft His Identity | Hyperallergic


Cranbrook Art Museum in the NewsLiz Cohen

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — We live in a time that challenges easy distinctions on the subject of identity. Gender has become fluid as never before in Western society, and art-makers find themselves remarkably unconfined by medium in an era that values ideas articulated by the most effective means possible rather than with a more traditionally rigid separation between disciplines. This freedom to maneuver is fully evident in Him, a project Liz Cohen developed over the past year as artist-in-residence and head of the photography department at Cranbrook Academy of Art (a position she has held since 2008). Cohen worked intensively with her subject, Eric Crosley, a male-presenting, self-described eunuch who has engaged in radical physical transformations in his search for a body that he feels appropriately reflects his identity — a topic he captures movingly in his own poetry. Cohen, who considers herself a documentary artist, uses her photographic eye to ...

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Liz Cohen | Downtown


Cranbrook Art Museum in the NewsLiz Cohen

Part photographer and part performance artist, Liz Cohen uses both mind and body to focus on issues of transformation and belonging while also heading up the photography program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills. "Generally, I tend to focus on issues around belonging and acceptance because those are big human issues that we all face," she said. "In all of my work, there is an examination of belonging and what it means to be in or out of a group, or what it is to be left out when you have something to offer. My work has also dealt with radical transformation and modification." Amongst Cohen's work is a decade-long project titled, "Bodywork," in which Cohen transformed an East German automobile into a Chevrolet El Camino. To complete the project, Cohen apprenticed in an auto shop and learned how to reconstruct the vehicle into a custom lowrider. At the ...

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