The Alterity and Identity of Trans Imaginess

The Alterity and Identity of Trans Imaginess

Brian Dawn Chalkley

Dawn and I are having a show and book launch in New York with Sračok & Pöhlmann on May 26th, it’s been extremely difficult to work with Dawn and she took a lot of persuading because fundamentally she mistrusts the art world as well as not being interested in art. However, I spent many ours in bed with Dawn and finally she agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to have a meeting with the gallery and that’s what clinched it. Rupert and Dawn got on like a house on fire, exchanging anecdotes about their common friend, Candy.


27 May – 4 June 2017 

opening on Friday 26 May at 6pm

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Sračok & Pöhlmann is especially proud to present The Alterity and Identity of Trans Imaginess — a book launch and exhibition featuring paintings and objects by Brian and Dawn Chalkley, curated by Herzog Dellafiore, organised by Rupert Pöhlmann and Herman Sračok.

Brian and Dawn concoct a panoply of mystery making and substitution provoking a rupture in our intellectual configuration by coupling and uncoupling the unrepresentable and the unthinkable. The stage is set for a spectacle where visible forms are merely signs of the invisible idea.


Too many words.
Jacques Rancière [Philosopher]


Brian. Dawn. Brian Chalkley. Dawn Chalkley. Brian Dawn Chalkley. The personalities, sexualities and art practices intersect, overlap, exclude and multiply. Who is the artist? Who is the artiste? 

The images of saccharine, faux Meissen ballerinas and shepherdesses, dolls with dolls, posed in front of the artist’s paintings, collages or found fabrics are installation photographs or the documentation of performances. As the images are on the recto of the printed sheet (the usual home of text), the text, now on the verso, becomes destabilized, as if fabricated to illustrate the image.

The seemingly academic title, including “alterity” and “identity”, disguises, transvestitises this artist’s book.
Stephen Bury, New York, 2017 [Chief Librarian, Frick Art Reference Library.]


Brian Dawn Chalkley draws, paints, makes films, dresses up, performs and writes monologues.

The stories she has to tell take place in seedy hotel rooms, lonely apartments, in bars and sex clubs and patches of woodland. Obsession, repression, sexual fantasy, secrets, solitude and a very bleak kind of humour are among the artist’s subjects. The work is full of character, and the character is the artist’s best invention.

The question is not so much who to be today, or what story to tell one-self, so much as whether to hoover or to shoot oneself. The frock is on the hanger, and the revolver is on the table.

Looking at Brian Dawn’s work I ask myself who is the stalker, who is the stalked?
Adrian Searle [Guardian Critic]


Brian Dawn Chalkley is a London based artist. Brian’s practice is an ongoing discussion with gender, sexuality and identity. His work is based around two characters Brian and Dawn, Dawn being a transvestite personality.

The practice manifests itself through painting, photography, installation, performance and video work. The construction of narrative and story telling are central to the work.


Sračok & Pöhlmann, founded in Susak (Croatia) in 2006 by Herman Sračok and Rupert Pöhlmann, has long been a vital force in the contemporary art scene. It supports the work of leading contemporary artists as well as putting forward new and exciting artists, presents a broad and critically acclaimed program of exhibitions to a large public through international exhibition spaces in London, Susak and New York.

A Sračok & Pöhlmann exhibition organised through SHIM at ArtHelix.

Sračok & Pöhlmann will be hosting “The Alterity and Identity of Trans Imaginess” at ArtHelix Gallery (in Brooklyn) and Shim is the company that brought them together.

@sracokpohlmann  @shimgrams @arthelixgallery @home_artist1 @susakpress  #sracokpohlmann


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