UV-curable ink on iron
Tutorials on Radiance (2018-ongoing) explores a queerness beyond the physical body that extends to the lived environments of queer people in the Caribbean region. I will be looking specifically at the boundaries of the 2D image in relation to queerness, portraiture and visibility. Thus far, I have manifested this in a series of environmental portraits, where those imaged perform a calculated refusal of the lens, both in form and in gesture. Working in this way shifts the viewer's’ focus from the singularity of the oft (de)sexualized queer Caribbean body and allows for consideration of the elements that surround and subsequently constitute parts of their lived experience as well.
The images presented were made in both Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. These islands have thriving underground and public queer communities which has brought the question of visibility into play. With them in mind, I consider the questions that arise when we prioritize visibility: how valuable is visibility in our communities? What are the benefits of a queer body becoming legible in a region that is still struggling with traces of a colonial past which manifests itself in a hostile present for bodies deemed unnatural or antithetical to the projects of nationhood and tourism? Furthermore, where is this push for visibility coming from and who does it comfort? Subsequently, one must also question the merits of invisibility as well. The two are not necessarily different from each other. They seem to work together as opposed to them being competing opposites. What is most common though, are their influence in the ways in which people perform a given identity in order to affirm/protect the self.
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