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John Paul Evans

Budleigh Salterton
John Paul Evans is a Welsh born photographic artist and academic whose work explores the polemics of gender representation in photography.

My work seeks to address the way photography has been deployed to reinforce notions of gender in western society. Writers such as John Berger, Laura Mulvey and Richard Dyer have correlated binary concepts of male/female with activity and passivity and looking and being looked at. Through personal practice, an attempt is made to eschew this active/passive binary when photographing the male body. This has involved a variety of picture-making strategies that have been influenced and informed by constructionist conceptualizations of the body such as Bakhtin's 'carnivalesque' and Judith Butler's notion of gender becoming an 'activity', together with Michel Foucault's concept of discourse, which has been central to the conceptualisation of the 'queer theory' research paradigm. The photographic methods used in my practice are performative and engage with processes such as stillness, or repetitious bodily movement, in order to reveal an unconscious or unprepossessed state to the camera, with the aim of transcending patriarchal codes and 'becoming' something alternative, something 'queer'. In addressing the process of naturalization we might consider Judith Butler's suggestion:

If gender is something that one becomes-but can never be-then gender is itself a kind of becoming or activity, and that gender ought not to be conceived as a noun or a substantial thing or a static cultural marker, but rather as an incessant and repeated action of some sort. (Judith Butler - Gender Trouble)

 

elegy for an aesthete

elegy for an aesthete

elegy for an aesthete

Today's Lesson

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'till death us do part'

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The visitors

The visitors

Featured in

blog

Curated Selection: Representations of Gender

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