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"Man Up" Photo Exhibition Jah Grey
Artist Statment, Jah Grey
I’m a self-taught, black, trans, artist, primarily focused on photographic portraiture. My practice is rooted in the struggle for social justice, and I strive to produce counter-narratives to misogynistic and patriarchal societal norms about gender, sexuality, and race.
"Man Up" Photo Exhibit
The work I created is situated in the resistance to the ideology of hyper-masculinity. In a society built on systems of oppression that aim to control us, dictate our bodies, our identities, where we belong, and how we feel, we all experience varying levels of alienation, erasure and through acts of conformation - self-erasure. Though confirmation can also be empowering, even necessary to survival, the byproduct can be the internalization of these problematic systems. This work will be a reflection of this, both figuratively and literally. What I hope to achieve with this project is an evaluation of the internalized systems of oppression, set in place particularly to be critical of the black body. Further, I wish to create portraits that will encourage us all to live out loud and not feel silenced or shame around our bodies; To encourage the subjects and viewers to feel able to express ourselves in any way we choose, and to remind us all of the similarities we share despite our differences.
Curated by Giles Monette