My photographic work stems from an overall interest in gender representation and the polemics of representing men under patriarchy. In particular I am interested in the politics of queer representation as Judith Butler asserts:
“If gender is something that one becomes-but can never be-then gender is itself a kind of becoming or activity, and that gender ought not to be conceived as a noun or a substantial thing or a static cultural marker, but rather as an incessant and repeated action of some sort”.1
Matrimonial ties is a project that encompasses varied responses and challenges to the historical and cultural significance of the wedding portrait.
The works originated as a personal reflection on the current state of social change in Britain and Europe around notions or definitions of marriage.
In a time of transition it is possible to see a future where people of the same gender might be considered ‘marriage material’.
Whilst one cultural definition might shift, there is a personal awareness that
individuals forming relationships across generation divides, whether straight or gay, will always be problematic ‘home-makers’, especially in terms of representation and conveyed meaning.
‘Home and Away’ adopts the visual metaphor of alienation in presenting the couple literally as ‘outsiders’. This picture of ‘otherness’ fluctuates between the poignant, the comic, and a potentially disturbing presence in the domestic space. ‘Till death us do part’ is a series of absurd permutations of the wedding portrait. These performative responses to ideas of marriage and domesticity evoke a sense of the uncanny – the ‘homely and un-homely’.
1. Judith Butler – Gender Trouble