“It’s not every day you learn you are a gender cannibal”
When John Jarboe came out as trans, John’s aunt exclaimed: “ You had a twin in the womb. You ate her. That’s why you are the way you are!” This was a lot for John to swallow!
The Rose Garden is an immersive performance space filled with video, music, and objects devoted to John’s consumed twin, named Rose. Visitors can weave their way through a multi-room domestic environment reimagining John’s gender journey. Through interaction with surrealist inspired video sculptures, visitors will discover a series of short films with original songs, hidden treats, and an immersive maze of memories and provocations. The experience culminates in a hang out space made by and for trans and queer communities that will serve as a site of performances and gatherings, including live cabaret, community conversations, and clothing swaps, throughout the run of the show.
As a drag artist, Jarboe is devoted to live performance—and cabaret in particular—as a means of creating a deep level of intimacy and trust between performer and audience. In The Rose Garden, her first solo museum exhibition, Jarboe seeks new ways of empowering visitors with agency that allows for a sense of narrative surprise, vulnerability, and catharsis.
We invite you to nestle in, chew on your gender, and savor its morsels. Stay for seconds, won’t you?