(Ab) NORMAL & (Un) NATURAL: Performing Identity
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Submitted by the Event Organizer
Opening reception Fri, May 6, 7-9pm; Gallery hours Sat, May 7, 12-4pm; Staged reading and fundraiser May 7, 7pm
(Ab) NORMAL & (Un) NATURAL:
Performing Identity & Engendering Resistance
Dr. Se Sullivan began this project as an autoethnographic exploration that developed into their Ph.D. thesis. In the process they made a ground-breaking discovery: In the restricted boxes of the Robert Stoller Papers at UCLA was the 1970 file that included a transcribed 68-page oral interrogation of Se as an eight-year-old being seen at the school’s Gender Identity Research Clinic (1963-1994). “This file, file number 24,” Se writes, “is a historical document and record of my body as a site of data collection.”
This exhibition is constructed around printed portions of that transcript, providing viewers with first-hand access to the process of collecting data to formulate a pathology for Gender Dysphoria. The exhibition also includes those sections of transcript as an audio experience, illuminating the assumptions under which they defined the parameters of normalcy, the speculative nature of their diagnostic process, and the violence-lived and implied-of their corrective therapies. Placed in front of-positioned to interrupt the linear presentation of the transcript-is a selection of four photographs drawn from Se’s life that tell a story of resistance. In this exhibit Se has added a closet with a picture of their younger self and M&M’s, representing the closet Se hid in for the hour they were in the child psychologist’s office once a week for three months. The exhibition of t-shirts represents their front row seat to Trans & Queer history.
Presented by We Just Want to Be