Trans Med Panic and the Faux Pas Clock: "The Bourne Legacy" as Trans Allegory (Texte Zur Kunst), May 2023

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Rian Ciela Hammond, “Root Picker,” 2021

The movie industry and its major studios have, since their outset, constructed trans subjects in reliable ways: as monsters, comic objects, and tragic figures. Even as production houses begin to open themselves to previously all-but-absent sympathetic depictions, narratives remain narrow. In this context, the tradition of trans audiences identifying trans allegory in unsuspecting places emerges as something of a defense mechanism, a process that speculates the existence of a media apparatus that could possibly think through trans narratives in quotidian terms rather than in tragic ones. In her contribution to our “Current Attraction” column, artist and writer Coco Klockner continues this tradition of allegory-mining to accompany our current issue, “Trans Perspectives.” What can a blockbuster like The Bourne Legacy possibly contribute to a textural depiction of trans life? Can the action film, of all genres, lend anything to a trans canon of cinema?