Morgan Wood

Towards an Ontology of Gendered Aesthetics: Surveying Topologies of Self and Other in Performance, Society and Media

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The concept of ‘gendered aesthetics’ is a fundamental part of all my recent research. As a genderfluid/non-binary person, I am acutely aware of the judgments, assumptions and commentaries which are made with regard not only to my artwork but myself as a person and as an artist, and as a performer who embodies their work, their critical thinking and their creativity. I present aspects, even fragments, of myself via narrative, personae and interactions through spoken word, video, music, comix, and writing. The protean nature of my own physical embodiments, as well as my fictional characters, is a starting point to question and highlight the assumptions and judgements that may be made about a specific person or persona based upon socio-cultural signifiers: How far can androgyny extend in either direction before it is generally classifiable as one or other either/or gendered state, whether socially or biologically? Why do very specific (arbitrary) physiognomical details carry such gendered weight? 

These far-reaching questions encompass real-world issues from non-binary being and selfhood, to facial feminization surgery, and exclusion and marginalisation in many forms, not just of persons and creators but also artworks. I attempt conceivable answers to some of them by presenting sometimes oblique responses, possibilities, and experiments designed to provoke, highlight incongruity (and thereby ask: why incongruity?), question, and celebrate alternative bodies, personae and types, often incorporating mixed or hybrid characteristics or elements.

Names of Supervisors:  

  • Dr. Maria Fusco 
  • Dr. Johanna Linsley 
  • Erica Eyres