The vilified stereotype of the trans woman—clad in a shiny trench coat, blonde wig, nylon stockings, fierce make-up—is unpicked in the young Danish artist Cassie Augusta Jørgensen’s first large-scale exhibition.
Entering the show, a pinkish-red trench coat—created with fashion designer Alectra Rothschild— impersonates this typified monstrosity. While it is juicily seductive, kinky in its glossy sparkle and transparency, the coat borders on exhibitionist and its elongated fit seems to suggest the transfeminine villain’s nonconforming limbs, potentially too long, mannered in measures.
On a grand screen behind the coat, the exhibition’s centerpiece plays. The new, approximately ten-minute film, Slit Your Click, is a skewed riff on the famous “museum scene” in Brian De Palma’s thriller Dressed to Kill from 1980. In Jørgensen’s film loop, we follow cruising bodies: a cis-gendered woman (Kate) and a man (The Stranger) both filmed and followed by a trans woman (The Blonde) wearing a red trench coat. The three move through the Danish National Gallery: silently, theatrically, performatively, chasing and being chased, triangulating erotic tension.
Serial translucent stills from the film are placed on the walls. Back-lit and small- scale, they demand close-up interaction, like holding intimate celluloid negatives up to the light. Carving up the kunsthalle’s existing architecture, they remind us that even the supposedly unchanging structure of the art institution or museum is just another performative front that, like our personal identities, can be cut open, turned transparent, changed, flipped.
In De Palma’s film, which explicitly quotes Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, the “museum scene” triggers the woman, Kate, to run away with the strange man, only to later be slayed in an elevator by The Blonde. The moral seems to be that women, liberated sexually, are either deserving of punishment or inherently deranged—whether trans woman or not. In Jørgensen’s feminist rebuke of this stereotype, her scene ends with the blonde trans woman passing over her camera to Kate, inviting her to reject the role of classical femme as filmed by male directors. Meanwhile, The Blonde takes on her own persona in full, slashes—or slits—the clichéd voyeurism and violent societal stereotype to which she’s been subjected. Jørgensen’s trans woman thus evades the role of the marginal villain; she instead walks away from the museum possessing the film’s focus, becoming its sympathetic heroine.
Cassie Augusta Jørgensen (b. 1991, DK) is a visual artist, choreographer, and dancer based in Berlin and educated at the Royal Danish Art Academy in 2022 as well as Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York. Jørgensen has previously exhibited at venues including Auto Italia, London (UK); 1.1 Basel (CH); Sophiensaele, Berlin (DE); and Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde (DK).
Thanks to: Alectra Rothschild, Joseph Bourgois, Alex Iezzi, Clara Dessau, Cat Pattinama Coleman, Ani Liv Kampe, Ed Atkins, Iarlaith Ni Fheorais.
Slit Your Click is the artist’s first large-scale solo exhibition and the culmination of her participation in O—Overgaden’s 1-year postgraduate program, INTRO, funded by Aage and Johanne Louis-Hansen’s Foundation.
The exhibition is supported by