Monsters are powerful symbols of transformative agency, heavily ingrained in Western culture. With transmutating creatures living rent-free in our collective imagination, I have to wonder: why is it taboo for queer people to transform? Just as LGBTQ+ activists reclaimed ‘queer’ as a radical identifier, I reclaim ‘monster’ as an uncompromising symbol of bodily agency.
A science experiment in my own right, my beasties mimic the conditions of my transition, from ‘coming out’ to gender confirmation surgery. Sutures become ladder stitches, tattoo’d decoration blooms as embroidery. From the sagging, pustulating breast to the uplifting Seraph above, the spectrum of dysphoria to euphoria broadens as you enter my monster mash.
Birthing my brood is understanding my body. Sculpting my form is self-love.
If this sounds like a B-Rate horror movie, good.
Thesis exhibition installed at Urban Arts Space . Columbus, OH (March 2021)
Click here to view the full Proximity exhibition online.
List of Works
- TIRESIAS/FELT SO HEAVY - minky, pleather, embroidery floss, ink on satin, packing pellets.
- DIONYSUS/KEEP IT TIGHT - minky, pleather, embroidery floss, ink on satin, polyfill.
- CERBERUS/THERIANTHROPY - duck canvas, minky, pleather, embroidery floss, ink on satin.
- CHROMA/I FEEL LIKE GLITTER - sequined fabric, pleather, embroidery floss, foam.
- SERAPH/BE NOT AFRAID - duck canvas, pleather, embroidery floss, ink on satin, polyfill.
Select documentation by Kristen Phipps