Holism (Self-portrait)


Suspended Photograph on Transparency (with Light Projection on Wood Panel and Wall)

This work is the second in a series of self-portraits utilizing a life-sized acetate print of the artist’s body. What began as a simple act of self-representation evolved into multiple depictions of the self, each exploring different themes and formal approaches.

Holism takes on questions of queerness in a very matter-of-fact way. The body is on full display. It is seen and it is seen through. Light passes through the print and the image is reproduced, represented beyond its physical surface. This projection lands in two places: on a wall with a glory hole and through the hole onto a second surface. The depth between these elements creates a separation of the genitals from the body. The genitals are isolated and occupy their own space. This effect acts as a deconstruction of the queer body, of queer identity, of queer embodiment. It also makes light-hearted joke about glory holes.

This artifact of gay sexual culture historically operates as a means for men to engage in anonymous sexual encounters. Only the penis and the mouth are seen and utilized in this interaction. The body is excitingly objectified. The architecture guarantees anonymity. A disembodiment occurs. One is potentially freed of their insecurities and sense of self. Genitally-based pleasure is the intention; a phallocentric fantasy, if you will.

In this installation, the glory hole serves as a symbol for the artist’s investigation of their own queerness. Where in the body does this queerness reside? Where on the body is this queerness perceived? The answers to these questions exist in the space between the hole and the whole.

Exhibition History

  • it's a towardness, really: and it's been places too, White Water Gallery, North Bay, ON, July 20 - August 17, 2019 (group exhibition)
  • Festival of the Body, OCAD University, Toronto, ON, March 1-15, 2018 (group exhibition)

Using Format