Every act of perception is an act of categorization. This concept allows us to relate entities together into classes, and provide a basis for understanding as well as implication. Although categorization enables us to organize the world, it is the social constructs of gender that shape our physical experience, more specifically, our public restroom experience. In the United States we actively participate in this ritual in public realms. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, my goal is give voice to this act of categorization and the implications of how those who are marginalized by it are affected. These images aim to create a visual representation of a spatial narrative that impacts everyone, but more importantly, those who do not conform to a binary system. The categorization of people into two sexes is a social construction, imposed on an individual by society. With respect to social cognition, these images are mostly interested in the various subtle representations of gender identity through decoration, design and accentuation. It is those who do not necessarily adopt the corresponding masculine or feminine gender role that are at a disadvantage in relation to the environment in which people are required to choose one, or the other. My question is, once we pass the sign on the door, does it really matter?
Jess studied photography and art history at Lesley College of Art and Design. She is a volunteer with the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester Massachusetts and has helped facilitate events such as the New England Portfolio Reviews and with the Magenta Foundation at the Flash Forward Festival for the past two years. Her work has been exhibited in Massachusetts, New York and Mexico. Jess believes in the ability of visual arts to provoke change. Her work is influenced by documentary photographers and experimental filmmaking techniques. Her primarily black and white photography and short films are concerned with verbal and nonverbal communication. Past projects have been in exploration of cultural and societal differences as well as the political realm. Through her work, Jess hopes to create an environment in which a community of artists can work towards a common goal of changing the way we view the world.
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