EmBodied Love: Iterations of Self Desire

EmBodied Love is a collaborative photo narrative project exploring queer and trans peoples relationship to our bodies and identities. Photography is used as a collaborative tool to gently explore the ways in which queer and trans people invoke and iterate constitute: make happen: edify knowledge of self in embracing the unknown, or undesirable. Individual participants Narrators are invited to engage in a process of self investigation and exposure to examine underlying tensions, constraints and possibilities embedded within us in relation to what is imposed, degraded, or obscured. In the face of societal traumas and erasure, we make visible our bodies, our selves, and the processes we invoke as essential in our ongoing self determination. Sick bodies, disabled bodies, racialized bodies, older bodies, gender non conforming bodies, pregnant queer bodies, and bodies not normally depicted as worthy of self adoration and love in mainstream and queer media are centered. Photography is used as an iterative process to navigate, engage, reject, search for and reinforce our own meanings and desire of our bodies and selfhood. How do we seek wholeness, integrate and marry past, present and future on our own terms, in the face of abject erasure?

Project Details:

13 Participants make up Phase 1 of this ongoing photo project and 26 images will be showcased at FAG with accompanied written narratives. In the creation of the images no stage or set or idea was imposed, and participants were encouraged to think of and invoke their own processes of relating to their bodies and their image which was then captured in exploratory photo-taking sessions. Sessions ranged from 1-3 hours and involved participants meeting in a setting comfortable to them, or my home. We explored stages of dress/undress to whatever degree was comfortable in relation to aspects of the body which may hold tension, conflicted emotions, or sites of resistance/desire. Participants have full ownership of images and solely determine usage, with credit. Most participants are acquaintances and some have never exposed themselves on film before. No staged lighting was involved and simple linen sheets were used for backdrops. I acted as a mostly silent witness, gently prompting with gradually more intimate questions as needed...the images captured their response.

A little about Sly Sarkisova: Originally from the West Coast/Coast Salish Territories. Grew up in a rural suburb where queerness/transness and anything other than middle class western european judeo-christian whiteness was not the norm. My own process of becoming was long, drawn out, non-linear, confusing and ultimately bereft

of identifiers that could capture my experience in terms of

gender/the body/sexuality/romantic desire. I am interested in creating compassion in everyday life, community, conversation and how we ultimately build enriching and supportive relationships with ourselves and each other.

Feminist Art Gallery is Wheelchair Accessible except for washroom. Back entrance has no step and side gated entrance has a slight decline.

Opening Night Reception will be Thursday, June 12th, 2014.

Making Ourselves Visible Discussion Night, Wed. June 18th.

Family and Friends Reception Sunday, June 22nd.

Closing Night Reception, Sunday June 29th.

Special Thank-you to Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue for popping my visual arts exhibition cherry and supporting this project.

Address: 25 Seaforth Avenue near Queen West and Brock Ave

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EmBodied Love: Iterations of Self Desire

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