Monstrosities: Genderfluidity as Art Practice

Ferguson, Sarah Jean
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Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Regina
This paper engages the art conducted for my MFA graduating exhibition, Monstrosities. The assumptions and inscriptions of gender which inform bodily meanings are critiqued. As a genderqueer/trans person, the issue of how to represent my genderfluidity, despite my ‘female’ sexed body and its implications, is all consuming. Art provides a means. The desire to represent myself is the central theme of the work in my exhibition. This paper is divided into nine sections. The first, Autobiography, Queerness, and My Creative Process, relates to the background that informs my art practice. I discuss definitions and the forces which inform and propelled the exhibition, and briefly touch on my creative process. The second section, Artistic Influences, touches on the artists that inspired my project and I discuss the challenges I face when applying their approaches in practice. The third section of my paper explores how theories of melancholia, the abject and the monstrous relate to my art practice and photographs. The fourth section, Monstrosities: An Overview, is a summary of my exhibition and its contents, and future plans. In the fourth section, Beginnings, I discuss the starting point of my art practice. The sixth section, On Queering the Female Body, unpacks key theories that relate to my body and my art, as well as my shifting queer identity. The seventh section, Key Gender Theorists, Inspirations, and Influences discusses key gender theories that I drew from during the creation of my exhibition. The eighth section, Phenomenology and Objects as Inspiration discusses how I chose the objects in my photographs. The ninth section, Queering the Appeal of The Photograph describes my relationship to photography and the camera.
A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Regina. 100 p.