Iconography of the Vulnerable Self
Grace Exhibition Space, NYC. April 2019

M

'Iconography of the Vulnerable Self' is a performance series exploring issues of visibility and safety in the public space for trans-feminine subjects and their daily marginalisation and fetishisation. This body of works also presents aspects of the artist's journey through gender dysphoria and of her ongoing enquiries into hetero / homo-normativity to question standardised manifestations of non-conformity. Questions at the core of the piece include: how does the performer sustain the normative gaze in the public space? Can this be deflected? How does she construct herself in order to be seen, yet be safe?

How can she present her non-conformity without being fetishised, or worse, annihilated? What does it mean to 'pass' as a trans-feminine person? While raising all of these, the performance also illustrates some of the strategies of survival and rituals of self-care employed daily by the performer in her preparing and traversing the public space. The piece seeks to disrupt the idea of performativity and spectacular by mixing everyday gestures (such as shaving her pubes) with more heightened actions such as spraying the bottle of perfume empty against the front window as the spectators are coming into the gallery. This responds to the artist's belief that in today's media and culture trans(feminine) subjects are often only read and accepted as such only when performing a caricaturial version of themselves that is both aesthetically appeasing and comically entertaining .

related works:
IMG_9144.jpg
IMG_4347_edited.jpg

Stills courtesy of Alex Romania

Stills courtesy of Alex Romania