In this endurance piece, I embodied a human-like creature undergoing multiple forms of rope bondage during a progression of physical transformation. Drawing a parallel to my experience of deferring medical transition, the rope bondage at first provides a feeling of safety, until the body reaches an inevitable physical threshold and must be released in order to prevent lasting physical damage. In the final stage of metamorphosis, I escape the bondage and shed the hair shielding my face, confrontationally making eye contact with the viewer, empowered in a new form.
This work reverses the dominant narrative of trans people being perceived as subhuman, by portraying a trans body as coming into itself as superhuman, and eventually, autonomous by reversing the gaze and staring back. TRANS ETHERIUM explores trans bodies as physical sites of resistance, and functions an intimate testimony of the ebb and flow of the artist’s own experiences of embodiment.
Shot/Edited: Aja Pop
Make Up: Melissa Capistrano
3 handmade clip-in extensions made from the artist's hair for the performance.