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About Rahne

Baltimore City

Rahne Alexander's picture
Rahne Alexander is an intermedia artist based in Baltimore, Maryland. She performs music with several bands, including Santa Librada, 50’♀, White Wing Dove, and Flaming Creatures, and previously with Guided By Wire and The Degenerettes. Rahne is an essayist, contributing to anthologies such as the Lambda Literary Award-winning Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, the Lammy-nominated Resilience Anthology, and the forthcoming Love, You. Her first book of collected essays, Heretic to Housewife,... more

Rahne Alexander's portfolio

I Am the End of the Patriarchy and So Can You

"I Am the End of the Patriarchy and So Can You" was developed for the Mary B. Howard Invitational: An Excellent Thought About A Quality Idea, curated by | ‘sindikit | and the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (formerly the Greater Reston Arts Center). 

My first painted artwork, "I Am the End of the Patriarchy and So Can You" is a manifesto of sorts, comprising catalyzing concepts and conclusions that have driven me as an artist, citizen, and woman. Presented across three 4’x’6’ silk scrolls, the text echoes aspects of drop cloths, battle flags, and notebooks and is intended to evoke self-doubt, erasure, reiteration, and the editorial hand. 

An Excellent Thought About A Quality Idea includes work from Rahne Alexander, Matthew Mann, Omolara Williams McCallister, Zia Palmer, and Mojdeh Rezaeipour. The artists were selected by Guest Curators Zoë Charlton and Tim Doud, co-founders of | ‘sindikit |, and Tephra ICA Associate Curator Erica Harrison to revisit an older artwork and to redevelop the work into a new project. The show opened in November 2020 and is on view at the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art until Feb 6. A virtual tour is available to view here

"I Am the End of the Patriarchy and So Can You" was developed for the Mary B. Howard Invitational: An Excellent Thought About A Quality Idea as a reanimation of some of my oldest practices — stream-of-consciousness writing on “scrolls” (in actuality, commercial paper towels) and little mementos mori written for the artists and historical figures who had significantly moved me — with my newest: writing and painting on silk, a fabric of natural strength and transparency.

In most cases, a manifesto is written for the author first, and this is no exception. "I Am the End of the Patriarchy and So Can You" is an early 21st-century transfeminist statement of purpose, a letter of encouragement for my past self, and a travelogue of how I have arrived where I am today. 

Grey Area

"Grey Area" (2020) was created as a wearable merkin for Maryland Art Place's exhibition Merkin Dream, which opened in February 2020. "Grey Area" is a Rorschach blot merkin, sculpted from dryer lint and mounted on grey tights, which was created to confront the projections of Western genital anxiety, particularly regarding trans-identified people.

The still image, "Grey Cell Green," is a self-portrait modeling "Grey Area," was invited by Zoe Charlton and Tim Doud into the | sindikit' | Salon on the BMA website, another initiative launched by the BMA to support local galleries and artists in the wake of the pandemic. With the green screen background and the famous Rorschach iconography, "Grey Cell Green" is a confrontation of constant, prurient voyeurism endured by trans women and our genitals, which tends to reflect the projections of the viewer.  


Two of my video collages, "Dude Descending a Staircase #1" (2019) and "Simoom" (2009) were invited for inclusion in the BMA Screening Room, the online video platform launched by the BMA to support the work of Baltimore artists in the wake of the pandemic. 

"Dude Descending A Staircase #1" premiered in an exhibit during the  International Conference of Chinese Computer Human Interaction, Xiamen, China in June 2019, and was created in direct response to the Supreme Court nomination hearings for Bret Kavanaugh in 2018. "Simoom, "which premiered at the BMA in 2009, is an interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe's first story, "MS. Found In A Bottle," and was commissioned by the 48 Hour Film Festival for their celebration of Poe's anniversary in 2009. 

In the days immediately prior to the quarantine shutdown, I was honored to show work in a two-person retrospective (along with Kristen Anchor) in the Microcinema series curated by Stephanie Barber at Rhizome DC

Santa Librada

The pandemic wreaked havoc on my performance schedule across the board. My band Santa Librada, arguably my highest-profile musical endeavor, typically performs once a month. Santa Librada did manage to perform several times in the early part of 2020, including our first headlining set at Ottobar and a sold-out benefit for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign mere days before the pandemic shutdown. Many shows were cancelled, including a two-night stand at the Charm City Kitty Club and a slot on the Baltimore Pride main stage.  

Santa Librada got into the studio and recorded a cover of PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me," which was included on the Ottobar's massive two-volume benefit compilation No Stagediving. A followup EP will be released in 2021. 

Since I'm talking about the Ottobar so much in the section, in August 2020 I was cast in an ad -- filmed at the Ottobar and other Baltimore locations -- designed to promote the Save Our Stages campaign to secure funding for music venues suffering in quaratine. The ad, funded by Crown Royal and featuring the song "If Want Me To Stay" by Anthony Ramos and Ari Lennox and directed by Karena Evans, featured numerous other Baltimore music artists. (My voiceover is heard in the video beginning at the 1:46 time marker.)


While band shows dried up during the quarantine, my solo music project 50’♀ received many opportunities to perform streaming gigs. In all, I was able to perform more than a dozen streaming shows after the pandemic began. Local highlights include a feature-length set at the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Tuesday Tunes series, the annual Shakemore festival, Apartscape, and Mind on Fire's Virtual Variety show. Nationally, I was able to perform for Queer Country Quarterly (New York) and Gender Unbound, an annual celebration of trans art based in Austin, TX. 

Additionally, I was invited to cover "Theia & Gaia," a song by my DC colleage Erin Frisby. My cover was released as a companion to her album release in September 2020. This recording was my first solo-produced recording since 2005. 


I started 2020 by returning as faculty for former Guerilla Girl Donna Kaz at her Kaz Conference Writing Workshop in Southampton, Long Island. 

I continued to do promotional appearances for my Neon Hemlock essay collection, Heretic to Housewife. While grad school deadlines took me away from writing more for publications like BmoreArt, I managed to publish a couple of articles. I also had a cartoon published in Carrie Rennolds' Fake New Yorker Vol. 3


Conversations have always figured into my artistic practice. In 2020, I only managed a couple, but both were revelatory experiences. 

In February 2020, I had a public conversation with legendary Baltimore activist Louis Hughes at Bird in Hand in Charles Village. This conversation built off the article I had authored for  OnCurating #42: -- What You Don’t Know About AIDS Could Fill A Museum: Curatorial Ethics and the Ongoing Epidemic in the 21st Century, and focused on the slippery nature of memory and the archive, particularly for marginalized populations. 

I also had the opportunity to join a national panel of trans-identified artists, Imagining Transgender Cultural Production as Revolt. This panel was originally slated to be presented at American Studies Association annual meeting, which was to be held in Baltimore in November 2020. Colleagues at Northwestern University converted this event to an online streaming event increased accessibility to this crucial conversation in a big way. 


I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge my last performance in front of a live, physical audience of 2020 -- my return to the standup stage. 

You Should Smile More was an comedy event celebrating International Women's Day, a collection of Baltimore's funniest women (and women-adjacent) comedians came together at Fells Point Corner Theatre. By the next weekend, in-person shows were a thing of the past. 

I am anxious to get back to the stage, my comfort zone.