Queer Dimensionalities, Sequence 1(a),
2020, inkjet print, 22 x 17 in.
Queer Dimensionalities (2020)
As a queer person, artist, and scholar, I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be seen in culturally mainstream ways while being largely imperceptible at the same time. I often wonder how much can be understood about a person from looking at a photographic portrait of that person. I am interested in both the limitations and possibilities of photography, and how images have the power to stage complex situations of self that extend beyond figurative representation. Departing from a corporeal frame-of-reference, Queer Dimensionalities visually articulates my own queerness in textural, spatial, and atmospheric ways.
Much of my process for this project took place on walks around my neighborhood in rural Kansas. During these walks I took lots of pictures of the subjects I encountered most: grass, flowers, water, sidewalks, stones, and my shadow. Given my interest in cultural legibility and figurative representation, I wondered what it might look like if my shadow was digitally obscured in the images using Adobe Photoshop. This simple intervention renders the sensuous-yet-artificial representation of textures, spaces, and atmospheres as the new subject of each work. Some are subtle and slow to unravel; others almost break with the initial photograph entirely. In departing from a figurative frame-of-reference, these pieces approach queerness as a way to perceive orientations that are difficult to depict through normative cultural frames.