I am motivated by the in-between. It separates us and unifies us. Representing this duality is a testimony to being human and creates a platform upon which dialogue can stand. This space between exists as an undeniable factor of the human condition incapable of being simplified and lacking in rational expression. Instead the interim can only exist in a state of constant oscillation between what is imperfectly known and justly felt.
The formation of one’s identity exists in the window between one’s self and the outside world. Identity cannot be formed alone nor is it solely an external recognition of certain characteristics. The process of forming one’s identity is left in the balance between that which they desire to be seen and that which others assume. It is with this imperfect approach that I observe my subjects knowing that the external and internal are a blurred arrangement of their personality. The lens sees the exterior while I look for the interior.
Gender identity is constructed within one’s own personal sense of self. My inspiration, especially as a representation of the straight male, is the separation from the traditional dichotomy of the gender binary. These social structures are nothing more than comfortable compartments that maintain a strong delineation between male and female allowing the current social norm of non-binary discrimination to exist. I break those compartments. I push the boundaries of masculine and feminine convention. I blur the line between male and female to illustrate that the in-between is permeable.
I approach these contemporary themes of identity using long-established photographic processes as way to reimagine the history of gender identity. By blending traditional wet plate photography with present-day subject matter I establish a past in something with little to no history. Recreating now in relation to then presents my subjects in a timeless light. Instead of understanding gender variance in a binary sense I hope to inspire conversation about one’s self, one’s differences and sameness regardless of time, sex and sexuality, our similarity or dissimilarity to others, and other subjective labels placed on individuals either by internal or external forces.
Blurring these distinctions places us in-between. It separates us from ourselves. It unifies us with the other. Celebrating differences presents our place in the narrative thus allowing a better understanding of our self. My work ceases to be a one-way interaction and instead oscillates between window and mirror blurring the distinction of who we’re really looking at.