Have a Heart
Not purely sweet nor purely bitter, our conscious experience of a mind and body co-inhabiting ‘the self’ is hardly understandable or easy. As we move through this world, we question, explore, and desire to bring attention to experiences of the body in an effort to make sense of it. My intention for Have a Heart is to highlight some of the silently swallowed ideas and perceptions that are projected onto LGBTQ+ individuals’ bodies as they exist in society, and to encourage empathy in the viewer. The driving inquiry behind this project was to ask: in what ways do social judgments of appearance and bodies affect a person, especially when the individual has historically been othered?
Constructing specific appearances and performing competitive and healing expressions of self-actualization–whether embracing identity or attempting to obscure it–is a common occurrence within queer individuals’ existences as we respond to societal reactions. In an effort to better understand the range of experience, I participated in one-on-one conversations with ten others about their thoughts on the body, the habitation of the body, and how the body functions in a social realm. From there, I captured the bodily form in adorned fragments to root the conceptual in the physical realm; exploring concepts such as alienation, limitation, endurance, and overcoming.