How to Perform Gender in Art

In this volume of Deprived, I will post original interviews, essays, photos and artworks that either provide a commentary on perceived social influences, explore the experiences and identities of friends and family, and/or that notes some of the research I’ve done during my thesis and self-directed work.

Hickerson, To Be Naked Or To Be Nude (diptych), 2019

After realizing that I want to explore how people experience identity in terms of gender, I proposed my thesis in September 2018. After months of intensive art-making, a school project developed into content that I want to continue exploring through my professional practice.

I realized, I am excited by storytelling; I am eager to make connections and learn about someone’s experience in the ‘make-your-own-adventure’ called life. Specifically, I am interested in identity and how it manifests both internally and externally.

I want to incorporate the body. I believe it would be stronger to consider how we see ourselves through gender, how this influences the way we present ourselves to the rest of society and then analyze how presentation influences the way others treat us. As a result, my works reads:

To explore how our gender identity isn’t wholly reflective in our physical presentation, but the perceived embodiment of gender reinforced by performativity dictates normalization/alienation.

PLEASE NOTE: the content of this project and thesis development is based on other people’s experiences and my own. I greatly appreciate their involvement. They have been brave enough to share their stories. Their voices are being heard and their experiences are validated. It is natural for experiences to be different and so we should cherish our differences through respect. Cheers, Shayla.

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