Needy Queers

I went out last night to the RVT, resplendent in silk, and conscious that I was going out alone. I decided to take the bus rather than a taxi, as I had done before, and allow myself to feel the weight of every gaze and potential judgement. I was uncomfortable and on edge for the evening.

In the normative world our identity is fed and acknowledged in a million ways. The world is set up to constantly affirm our identity, positively and negatively. On the whole, it is a positive experience to the subconscious as it keeps us in the position of all-is-well allows us to concentrate on our day. Billboards display posters of men and women performing normative identities, everyone walks the streets in clothing appropriate to our gender expectations, signs are in a language we understand, doorways fit the shape of our bodies, and foot-length steps lead up to them. The whole world constantly affirms the normative and allows them to get on with the tasks of their day. This, of course, is the behaviour of power that enables the unthinking consumerist mass. But regardless of its rights and wrongs we know it’s there and what it is doing. Now bring into this neat machine the performative tranny. The trans* experience in public is replete of any subliminal securities (good or bad), it is a constant awareness of each gesture to the point where the only activity that can take place is the act of being trans*. This also applies to those with physical, mental or linguistic impairments, but for now I’ll just stick with the performative element of trans*. So this constant awareness of your position has to be mitigated in order for you to enjoy your evening out. This happens by being with people who say things like, “I love what you’re wearing.” “You look fabulous!” and so on. The affirmation from friends, fashionistas and sympathetic people help the confidence of the performative tranny and enable the evening to take place, the tranny can form a performative identity to take part in the world. Their identity must be supplemented through the replacement of normative signals with artifice, a heightened use of the compliment.

I realised that when I was out on my own, I felt vulnerable because I had no one to tell me I looked ok. My tasks for the night involve, checking my skirt isn’t riding up or slipping down, ensuring my bulge doesn’t show, checking lipstick, eyeliner, foundation, is my wig still on straight, blouse still tucked in. The list of tasks go on and on because there is no sympathetic audience to keep my performance on track.

And this is why I refer particularly to the performative tranny. This particular identifier is the performance of trans*. We now understand that the identity of gender takes two forms: the biological definition of our particular blend of chemistry, and the performed role imposed by society. This understanding has lead to important discussions about the use of “social gender role transition” in gender reassignment. There is something absurd about playing at being another gender before physically becoming it. It reaffirms each side of a binary and fails to acknowledge the true nature of trans* as a destabiliser of power. The goal is always to pacify the dysphoria rather than question the normative domination over non-conforming identities. Some trans* identities look to complete an illusion of transference, and to receive the subliminal securities intended for the other gender. To do this takes a lot of work and is perhaps an illusion of achievement. Even the most convincing of trans* performativity is an illusion that must be continually kept afloat to work.

I want an audience because there is no point to my performance if it isn’t acknowledged. I want people to see and enjoy my performance, to compliment the efforts put into its execution. Without these kind words I look out of a precarious vessel that sees only obstacles to avoid.

We need to experience validation for our performance so that we can define ourselves beyond the victim. Performing gender is an opportunity to connect a queer moment with a potentially appreciative audience. The normative world is not able to enjoy this moment.

Categories: Notes | Trans-

Created: 2nd August 2017
Edited:

Dysmorphia as a Starting Point: Snarks

[Clockwise from top left: Snark #1 (2017), Snark #5 (2017), Snark #2 (2017), Snark #3 (2017)]

“It starts with a dysmorphia, a social confrontation, a physical disquiet. Not an argument of the gods, not the casual arm of Hera turning man to woman, woman to man, human to beast. It starts with turning the piece around and around and finding that, whatever angle you try, it doesn’t fit.”

Some are transformed just once
And live their whole lives after in that shape
Others have a facility
For changing themselves as they please.

[…]

The life
Of a monster no longer a man. And so,
At last, the inevitable.
He began to savage his own limbs.
And there, at a final feast, devoured himself.

Erisychthon, Tales from Ovid, Ted Hughes

Categories: Chelsea | Façade | PARC instagram takeover (Feb 2017) | Trans-
Subjects: , ,
Created: 25th February 2017
Edited: 30th March 2017

Tranny Faced

[Left to right: Margaret LXXVIII: Her Vetoed Disgrace (2017), Margaret LXXIX: In Peristalsis (2017), Margaret LXXX: The Sudden (2017), Margaret LXXXI: In Torpitude (2017)]

“I grimaced as she grimaced, it looked weird, it felt good. I actually don’t know if she ever grimaced that way, but it seemed right, and now I grimace every time.”

“But if it doesn’t come from her, where does it come from? Where do any of these expressions come from? Messerschmidt’s bowels get visited in the night by twisting fiery punishment, commanding his face and hand.”

“My bowels get visited by a seven inch dildo. It’s some way that you are supposed to receive that, the way it should be received, with firm retention and violent rejection. It’s the awareness of the bowel and the throat as being part of the same long tube, the mouth and the sphincter mimicking each other, pouting and puckering in an attempt to outdo the other.”

“And her? You’re all mirror no? Stuck in that loop.”

“Yes, that’s true, I need the loop. That is the crutch, the enabler, sadly. But I am the one who holds her there, retains her at that point of understanding through satiety. Lips to anus, I turn my microphone to the speaker and try to talk and hear at the same time. That’s how you become her, you have to speak and listen at the same time, a feedback loop that retains the force of becoming and holds back the force of become.”

“And what about her flesh? I’ve eaten thanks. I’ve eaten a lot of things, not all of them good.”

“I miss her, I really do. But how would that situation have been resolved? Possession? Amnesia? She is dead, I am not. She is in time, she’s not a catalyst. All things burn up, transformed by the body, its uneasy spirit.”

[…]

Categories: Chelsea | Façade | PARC instagram takeover (Feb 2017) | Trans- | Written

Created: 13th February 2017
Edited: 2nd March 2017

Extracts from a Conversation about Poses [2015]

“[…] It’s a theoretical device showing a separation of experience from the materials that engender it, and what fills that space, which is language. I am trying to know that relationship I have to the material, where and how it exists.”

“Our human experience is so inseparable from materiality yet we charge it as deviant. […] But does that really make sense? […] Materiality is not the experience of living, because we don’t know anything other than it is not in here it is all out there, but it forms our desires.”

“And materiality is the Artist’s breath.”

“Exactly, a tangible expiration. […] And pigment equals makeup, armature equals high-heels, we use beards, wigs, leathers, silks, costumes, clays, crutches; the dildonic library goes on and on for us. And what, or where, at the end of it all, are we? We are the language between us and the material. That is where the we are. It’s a limited angle, but that’s okay, you have to remember you are the rock and the thought of rock, it’s just that you can only experience the communication between.”

[…]

“Who lives in these poses?”

“Anyone who has donned a flowing robe for the execution of a spiritual moment. Be that comical, erotic, political, meditative; to make someone’s knees tremble, or instil awe in ourselves and others. It is the wearer and the watcher. It is that desire to be the fucker and the fucked concurrently. […]”

“And it becomes a model of a wider behaviour.”

[…]

“And we can do this so easily these days, because this is simply another version of contemporary consumerist experience, we consume and are consumed.”

“The desire economy is a modern term for a long understood ontological idea. We are not only driven by our desires; we are also defined by them.”

[…]

“And the vision, in the cave, the half-light of the church, the face of Jesus in the stucco.”

“Grainy pornography, the man or woman of your dreams glimpsed in a crowd, reminiscent smells-”

“All the language of materiality, the same as penetration, taste, the cladding and devouring of bodies.”

[…]

“I picked some of the sweet-smelling leaves, crushed them in my hands, and rubbed my wet but burning body with them. I looked at myself for a long while, with no more shame now, with joy […]”

Categories: Apparitions (Sep 2015) | BLAUHAUS | Façade | Portfolio | Trans- | Written

Created: 26th July 2016
Edited: 3rd August 2016

Sketch for Tranny Face [2015]

yellow_sketch

Oil on canvas

“Tranny Face is a signal to the self. It’s a seedless mating call. A futile loop.”

Categories: BLAUHAUS | Façade | Notes | Trans-
Subjects:
Created: 7th March 2016
Edited: 30th March 2017
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