Flesh and Mud: Project(2020)

In this body of work, Flesh and Mud Project, I am challenging representation that can make people

uncomfortable by being vulnerable with my body. Through video, handmade paper, and the process

of making body casts, I embrace manipulating the image of my body to create monstrous or mythical

hybrids to reflect the experience of being “othered” and living in a state of hyper awareness around gendered

visibility.

The full bodily engagement, use of natural plant fibers, and meditative process inherent to hand papermaking

becomes a means of surrendering to the natural environment and functions as a self-healing and

liberating process to mediate the frustration and rage of being “unseen” in everyday life. My

work acknowledges the internal effort put into that experience to find peace and comfort within

the self through the process of making paper. At the same time, I categorize my usage of

hybridity and unsettling bodily forms as an external, public method of processing negative

experience. Therefore, this body of work blends the external and internal response to defying

gender conformity: calling attention to the arbitrary yet confining structures around bodily

normativity while simultaneously working in a process that functions as a ritualized act of

healing and ownership of the body in communion with nature. 

The physicality of making paper and sculptural body casts demands an intentional awareness and

exploration of the body that confronts the uncomfortable and the intimate. In these processes of

making, my body and handmade paper become a vessel for expressing a nonbinary transgender

experience and radical reclamation of the self.

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Living Light, 2020

Phase 1: indi(visible)

indi(visible). 2020

Video. Duration: 3:08 minutes.

Phase 2: Devoured

"Identity becomes a bast and mysterious archipelago, surrounded by fog and with unknown currents and tides and indecipherable shorelines that are almost impossible to chart or navigate"

- Akiko Busch, How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency

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Devoured. 2020

Cotton paper and acrylic paint.

23 x 29 x 7 inches.

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Devoured

Phase 3: Unravel

Unravel

Unravel. 2020

Cotton rag paper, milkweed fluff, and body hair.

58 x 25 x 10 inches.

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"BREAK THE BODY //

WHERE IT BENDS"

- Booker, Flesh and Mud: Bodily

Deconstruction Through Handmade Paper

Phase 4: Living Light

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Living Light. 2020

Abaca and kozo paper, cheesecloth, natural dyes, watercolor paint, and acrylic paint.

8 ft. 2in. x 2 ft. x 27 in.

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"To become monstrous, is also, to hold light."

- Booker, Flesh and Mud: Bodily Deconstruction Through Handmade Paper

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Phase 5: Flesh and Mud

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Flesh and Mud. 2020


Cotton, Kenaf, and Abaca paper, mud, hair, syringes, chicken bones, and recycled wood.
29 x 41.25 inches (each)

Flesh and Mud
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