In this series, I explore gendered performances as both the Man and Woman in each image. By always making the Woman blurry or shadowed, I force viewers to see her only for her gender signifiers. In contrast, I put the Man in clear focus, at once empowering him and leaving him emotionally exposed.
Certain aspects of the Woman—blow-dried hair, chanteuse makeup, lying on the floor with a corded telephone—evoke the mainstream visual culture that informs her gender. The Man’s appearance is less evocative and more uniform across the images, a symptom of the aesthetic limitations placed on him.
The relationship between the Man and Woman is open to interpretation. Is the Man fantasizing about an imaginary lover? Is he questioning his gender and envisioning himself as a woman? Here, the images are arranged in a progression from fleeting encounters to more intimate, introspective moments. The final image confronts us, encouraging us to reflect on our own performance and perpetuation of gender fictions.