Ganymede & Helen
"A monstrous Venus imitates a woman." - line 228 of Ganymede and Helen (12th Century)
This series of self portraits was inspired by a poem (author is unknown) in which two specimens of the sexes, Ganymede and Helen, in debate over love; love between a man and a woman, defended by Helen, and love between two men, fought for by Ganymede.
The photographs, shot on film then scanned, exhibit a feeling of isolation through the formality and objectivity experienced in traditional still life art. My body and the "table" drapped with fabric further reference classical Greek and Roman, stylized ideals of beauty. I, as well as the objects on the table, a set of fake tulips - symbols of perfect love - and the crystal lamp, symbolic of truth, become equal specimens to the viewer.
My interest in the associations that we as people have with colors and gender - the masculine and the feminine are prominant as well. In fact, the photographs are saturated with color; the variations in the color of the light sources, shift the way the fabric, skin tone, and shadows are percieved. The idea behind this series was to blend and blur the socially constructed, binary gender roles we've grappled with throughout history.
Although I treat my body objectively, each photograph also exhibits a performace-like quality through movement and pose. Furthermore, I wanted to take on a particular androgenous form as a means of addressing my own sexuality and identity but also to further address the fact that the binary can and cannot be easily broken down. The androgeny can appear subtle and believable as well as blatent and unbelievable - through the simple use of a cheap, blonde wig.
"The impudent youth compares himself to the female." - line 20
(click on images to enlarge)