Shifting bodies: transgender self-representation in moving image art practices

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dc.contributor.advisor Minissale, G en Lee, Eleanor en 2019-05-14T23:46:17Z en 2018 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract The art of the moving image flows with a multiplicity of images and sequences, and has been channelled by Aotearoa New Zealand-based transgender artists to express their own bodies as they shift between cisnormative realms of gender. The transgender or gender diverse body refuses singularity, as it occupies our expectations of both male and female contours, resulting from clothing choices, hormone treatments or surgical interventions; just as the fluidity of film resists a single or static image or reading. The moving image contains endless potential to convey this shifting, this visual indeterminacy of escaping fixed states of being. I examine how a range of artists use self-representation to render themselves in perpetual motion; shifting physically between frames, shifting ontologically with the corporeal effects gender affirmative treatments provide, as well as shifting in their very being between external conceptions of genders. I discuss three artistic methods, which can be analysed as an emerging transaesthetics. Language firstly created indefinable realms through which the corporeality of the body can be manipulated in words, sounds, and poetic imaginings, as artists navigate linguistic strategies for escaping bodily experience. Secondly, through means of cropping sections of the body out of the image frame, artists used film techniques to aesthetically affect the removal and amputation of undesirable and redundant body parts. This disjunction within the image between the face and the body of the individual can be compared to the disassociation between self and body that constitutes a common experience of gender dysphoria, a medical symptom of identifying as a different gender than one is assigned at birth. Lastly, Māori and Sāmoan artists used post-production editing to layer transparent images of themselves, creating ethereal and kaleidoscopic figures which create the effect of coexistence with a spiritual realm, as an alternative means of escaping normative physicality. Here, the medium of film is being explored to create enigmatic self-expressions, which resist the notion of fixed states, and deny the viewer the ability to easily classify the figures into binary genders. I theorise the artists' manipulation of film techniques such as slow cinema to create an expanded sense of the passing of time, enabling the viewer to have a meditative and measured engagement with the works, as non-binary durationality. Transaesthetics here encompasses a spectrum of visual ambiguity, and celebrates dynamic indeterminacy. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265149913902091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Shifting bodies: transgender self-representation in moving image art practices en
dc.type Thesis en Art History en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 772197 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-05-15 en

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