Sunday, February 23, 2014

Print Edition Exchange for Obrero Press

          I finally finished my edition for Obrero Press! This took quite awhile, considering my work schedule, so my time in the shop was relegated to about once or twice a week.  I am thrilled with the final prints, and very grateful for the invitation to participate.  The theme for the edition was issues of Immigration and minorities combating racism, xenophobia, homophobia and the like.  I chose to make a print about crossing queer borders. Here is the statement that goes along with the Approximate Threat portfolio:

Approximate Threat, Intaglio with Colle, and Screenprint
Tiger Reed
“Approximate Threat”
Intaglio and Silkscreen

The imagery presented in Approximate Threat is a culmination of private irrational fears from my perspective as a Transgendered male.  The experience of transitioning from one gender to another is akin to having a map without a key or any recognizable icons.  The emotional landscape changes radically, and the social shift can feel insurmountable.  The borders are crossed gradually over time, as the physical changes settle in.  I “pass” as male in virtually every scenario these days, yet I often find myself waiting to be discovered at the most inopportune moment; as if my masculinity is any less real than any other man’s.  Although trans men (female-to-male) face less physical violence than our male-to-female counterparts, it does happen, and these confrontations can vary in intensity depending on the situation.  The people I am most wary of in my every day life happen to be Caucasian males.
   The portraits of the wolves and the man possess a dualistic relationship to my person: they represent my familiar desire to fit into their world and yet they an approximate threat in mine.  Each time I enter a new public realm, whether it be a grocery store, barbershop, or gas station, I engage in a visual assessment of my surroundings, in order to determine how safe I am.  While in the process of developing the images and printing this edition, I have been forced to confront this fictional aggressor and address my own assumptions about what they may look like.  I was compelled to study this image a great deal while working on the etching, and as a result, I began to reconcile my profiling of other human beings.  I realized there are no simple answers to moving through this complex identity, that once, when I was female, my assailants embodied this profile.  Of course I would carry this history with me in my present life, and be influenced by it. With this admission is the key to a new map, and this new country I am gradually growing into.

Without Jessi Cerutti, the edition would not have been possible.

Pulling the final layer

Setting up for the Colle