The mundane spaces we all experience can maintain systemic violence. The same is true for the practice of photography.
Queerness can become about designing characters to perform some palatable rendition of yourself when reacting to the potential violence in "normal" environments, where safety can be threatened by your being seen as an Other. In this work, illusion is used to critique spaces that are straight- and cis-coded. I maintain a pose with a simulation of a laundromat made in Blender chroma-keyed into the background. I create a performance revealing the fallacies of photography as well as exposing the operatic nature of cisheteronormative space and its insistence on mandatory performances. Everything here is asked to pretend to be something it is not, and simultaneously they each critique their counterpart in the real world by having to parody them. Video stands in for photography, a green screen stands in for a laundromat, a non-binary person stands in for a picturesque housewife, etc. This highlights the absurdity of the performance required for queer people in places which must be visited to fulfill basic needs. It does the same for how queer and Othered people are often required to perform for the camera (didactic example: the work of Diane Arbus).
Darion Hassertt is an interdisciplinary artist and student studying fine arts and art history at the University of Cincinnati. Their practice is centered on building queer knowledge and artifacts. They utilize photography, costume, and imaging software to invent liminal fictions. Their practice is like the fracture in a phone screen— a quiet and annoying reminder that the infrastructure you rest within is built on your trust in an illusion.
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