a sculptural exploration of gender fluidity
Human identity is complex, multifaceted, and intangible. Human beings have both internalized and externalized parts of themselves that are a challenge to wholly represent in visual art. The Social Identity Theory, developed in 1979, suggests that each person has not one “personal self,” but rather multiple levels of the self that surface or disappear based on social context. These levels are influenced by both nature and nurture, and can only be discovered and determined by the individual to whom they belong. Gender, being one level of the self, is more complex and fluid than most people realize. This paper and its corresponding body of work explore internal and external struggles the artist has experienced surrounding gender identity, while opening the conversation about gender nonconformity, and providing solidarity and relatable content to those experiencing similar identity struggles. This body of work is influenced by Jenny Holzer’s feminist text-based sculptures, Yayoi Kusama’s mental illness and fear-reflecting works, and Vaginal Davis’ mixed media pieces on gender identity.