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The Closet

Excerpts from the article at

The slang term "being in the closet" has mostly been used to describe keeping secret one's sexual behaviors or other orientation disapproved of by society; typically homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgenderism, but also including various paraphilias.

The term closet has also been used to refer to other personal preferences; e.g. "John Doe is a closet postmodernist, communist, anarchist, etc."; likewise for to come out of the closet, e.g. "Jack came out of the closet about his drug addiction".

A "closeted" person referres to people keeping their orientation secret (sexual, religious...). The reason is usually that the person does not want to face the environment's judgment.

In many places in the world, coming out of the closet means losing your job, home, family, friends, religious and political memberships. There is often also a real risk of being the victim of violent hate crime.

The term is derived from the metaphor of the "skeleton in the closet": a thing a person hides that they don't want to be found, but which is inevitably stumbled across.

"Coming out of the closet" describes voluntarily making public one's orientation, "being out" to not concealing one's orientation, and "outing" for making public the orientation of another who would prefer to keep this information secret.


The Closet

(text from the catalogue)

In my work, The Closet, I wish to confront the spectator with another, potential or existing aspect of his personality that disgusts him, yet can at the same represent the hidden and elusive object of his fantasies or dreams.

The Closet consists of a series of portraits of people repulsive to mainstream society, for instance Satanists, homosexuals, transsexuals, murderers, sadomasochists, religious fanatics, prophets, extreme militant nationalists..

A real-size photo of a person is glued to the inner side of the closet door. On the opposite wall there is a huge mirror lit with lights. There is a small opening in the door of the closet in the eye-level of the portrayed person. The spectator looks through the opening as if in a peep show. At that point he goes through a personal transformation of sorts, seeing his own eyes in the face of another person.

This is similar to the experience of a patient that has undergone major plastic surgery and does not recognize his own face in the mirror once the bandages are removed. This is followed by a reaction to the content of the photo itself.

The spectator walks from one closet to the other and in a brief period of time goes through various roles. Maybe he has great fun doing that and maybe he discovers something new about himself!

Aleksandar Kujuńćev


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The Closet in the Museum of Modern Art in Skopje