Inspired by books like The Un-Natural State: Arkansas and The Queer South and Men Like That: A Southern Queer History, Instagram accounts such as @truckslutsmag and @queerappalachia, and my own upbringing in rural Arkansas, this series seeks to convey the richness of southern and rural LGBT+ identities through the reference of multiple and sometimes conflicting visual referents. The combination or contrast of everyday objects address gender and sexuality, but also class and the rural.
My research examines abstraction as an innovative anti-homonormative mode of embodied politics for LGBT+ resistance. Currently, the discourse on Queer Abstraction is overwhelmingly positive and overlook the limitations of the genre - specifically the links between both queer and abstract to complex histories of race and colonialism. My research and this series seek to intervene into this discourse by offering a queer abstraction that centers geography - specifically the rural - and class politics.
Utilizing found objects and specific materials that evoke class, queerness, and the rural, the pieces in Down South subvert strong Southern gender norms through the evoking of the queer bodily in witty and unusual ways to depict another view of the rural which is queer resistance and ingenuity.