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One of the primary bodies of work that I have been producing since 2009 is a series of self-portraits. These works represent that fleeting moment in time when my biological sex has not yet compromised my gender identity and anonymity may still be achievable. Interacting with viewers in a manner that echoes the power relationships that confront me during my day to day existence, these works reflect a real dichotomy present in my life between a desire for validation and a fear of exposure. Vanity, scopophilla, and notions of rebirth all play valid roles in my artistic practice. Though its visibility is reduced only to the recognition of process, the camera is of paramount importance as both a chronological documenter and source of mirrored identity. As a trans woman, the utilization of hair as the major vehicle of my visual vocabulary is extremely purposeful since it allows for the investigation of complex issues within a seemingly non-confrontational aesthetic realm. When the viewer transcends the layered textures and beautiful colours of the work’s surface they are offered an opportunity to question the use of hair as a social tool of gender construction and cultural currency. The works in the Transitioning Identities - Back of My Head and Brows and Bangs series converse with the gaze of the viewer in both passive and active manners.
Copyright Molly Vaughan