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Update: Since we originally published this story on May 15, artists Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker have expanded on their photographic project, Relationship, which chronicled the pair's romantic relationship as Ernst transitioned from female to male and Drucker transitioned from male to female. Whereas Relationship was a "celebratory and sentimental" look at the opposite-oriented trans* couple's shared life, the new photos in Post / Relationship / X reflect Ernst and Drucker's romantic separation: The two remain creative partners, but are no longer lovers. Click through to see 10 photographs from Relationship, followed by 19 from Post / Relationship / X.
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Original Post: Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker didn't intend to turn their lives into a public photography exhibition. They began documenting their relationship through photographs in 2008, and over the next five and a half years, they amassed hundreds of images. The snapshots — taken by them and for them — chronicle Ernst and Drucker's time spent together as lovers and partners. Encouraged by a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Ernst and Drucker selected the 46 photographs featured in Relationship, now on view at the Whitney Biennial. Raw and arrestingly intimate, Relationship chronicles Ernst and Drucker’s private moments as an opposite-oriented transgender couple — over the time period in which the photos were taken, Ernst was transitioning from female to male, while Drucker was transitioning from male to female.
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The series presents tender scenes of the pair along with signals of their transitions: a shot of Drucker’s developing chest; the pair standing side-by-side with bandages on their behinds from their latest hormone shots; and other everyday moments from their lives. On a recent Saturday afternoon, I spoke with the artists about their work, their relationship, and their takes on what it means to be trans* today.