Media Release

Hamblin and Matsena challenge social injustice in two new bodies of work

InterseXion is centred within Hamblin’s photographic images, voice and video installations pertaining to sex work in South Africa, in particular work with feminine identified transgender people. In the height of many debates surrounding sex work, South African Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa says:

“Whatever views individuals may hold about sex work, whatever the statutes may say about the legality of sex work, we cannot deny the humanity and inalienable rights of people who engage in sex work.”

Following this line of thought, Hamblin seeks to encourage viewers to engage with transgender sex work, poverty and social injustice. The imagery offers a playful interaction between subject and the viewer whilst voice and video works, unveil some of the complexities surrounding sex work in South Africa.

To survive living on the streets of Cape Town, you just need to give them that theatre moment…. It’s about the look.. A transwoman who looks like me, with drowsy eyes, like any other beautiful woman…. it becomes financially viable.” – Leigh Davids, sex worker and activist

To engage with the subject from multiple perspectives Hamblin pertinently inserts himself into some of the works, invoking the representation of a sex work client. Presenting the intersection of gender, sex and class this way (from the perspective of trans people) also acts as a lens to consider the power consequences of how bodies present in society.

 “The blurry, unrealistic, mostly decontextualized images are intentional. My work method reflects a mandated representation of these trans bodies, challenging popular notions of the representation of gender, sex work and disenfranchised people.” – Robert A. Hamblin