In between – Jana Gombiková

How do we choose whether someone is to be seen as male or female? How does this choice affect the way we perceive the person?
Even though certain features are typically attributed to one gender or another, there is no clear-cut reality. In my portraits, I capture women with no conventional feminine characteristics visible at first glance – the characteristics we, the society, have agreed on seeing as such. What is left is a doubt – an inability to clearly and instantly define the person. In fact, both genders naturally contain features of the opposite. Most of us are not typical men or women; despite that, we often try to fit into the category, at least by the outer features. It is not only the looks, though. Besides the visual elements, the typical characteristics are often automatically attributed to both men and women, and it is very difficult to break out of this stereotypical perception. That is what I try to achieve in my photographs – to raise doubts in viewer’s mind and to confront the stereotypes, so deeply rooted in us all.


Jana Gombiková is a Slovak photographer, writer and filmmaker, currently based nowhere.