Duff Norris On an Expansive Definition of Manhood

3 months ago 2
Duff Norris (all photos courtesy the artist)

This nonfiction is portion of HyperallergicPride Month series, featuring an interrogation with a antithetic transgender oregon nonbinary emerging creator each weekday passim the period of June.

For the latest variation of our ongoing series, we spoke to Duff Norris, an interdisciplinary creator based successful Brooklyn who works chiefly successful show and photography. Norris often employs self-portraiture to research the acquisition of being a trans antheral portion probing the societal expectations that situation masculinity. Norris talked to Hyperallergic about his tendency to correspond tenderness and butchness arsenic compatible parts of manhood and his hopes for an interconnected aboriginal successful the LGBTQIA+ community.

Hyperallergic: What is the existent absorption of your creator practice?

Duff Norris: Artistically, I’m funny successful transportation and speech with my assemblage and participants. My existent enactment centers connected themes of masculinity and negotiating antithetic norms and histories from assorted vantage points and backgrounds. I profoundly tendency an knowing of manhood that includes tenderness and open-heartedness that is not successful absorption to butchness. Much of my enactment explores however I and different men travel to that speech done creating images and performances seeking expressions of intimacy and holding abstraction for these ideas and their synergies and contradictions. 

H: In what ways — if astatine each — does your sex individuality play a relation successful your acquisition arsenic an artist?

DN: My involvement successful these themes comes straight retired of my acquisition arsenic a transgender man. Through the travel of coming out, transitioning, and surviving arsenic a trans fella, determination has ever been a earthy curiosity, criticality, and experimental facet to my position which besides guides my artistic practice. Evidenced successful my bid Transmen Pietas (2021–2022), I person repeatedly recreated the pieta with myself arsenic Mary and antithetic trans men whom I transitioned with arsenic the slain Jesus fig successful my lap. I americium drawn to this representation due to the fact that it aligns trans-masculinity with the divine portion besides representing the tragedy and inflicted harm that we unrecorded with. Additionally, it is important for maine to cradle these beloved men and correspond trans-masculine motherhood and attraction by embodying Mary’s position. Each image is taken wrong a idiosyncratic abstraction of the exemplary successful my thigh and alludes to their individuality and communicative beyond their trans status. 

Duff Norris, “Jaxon” (2021) from Transmen Pieta (2021–2022), integer photograph pigment print, 16 x 20 inches

H: Which artists animate your enactment today? What are your different sources of inspiration?

DN: Three artists that I deliberation astir frequently, successful transportation to my work, are Shaun Leonardo’s show enactment and however his engagements construe into pieces. Tommy Kha’s images are a touchstone for the layered opportunities of a azygous representation and of aggregate images speaking to each other. I besides look astatine the staging and performativity of Janine Antoni’s enactment and the beingness of her and others’ bodies arsenic an facet of the dialogue. 

H: What are your hopes for the LGBTQIA+ assemblage astatine the existent moment?

DN: As events unfold, I anticipation we proceed to thin into our toughness arsenic good arsenic tenderness. I anticipation we put successful each different and successful systems of liberation, resilience, and redundancy. The champion minds I cognize suggest this is done done statement building, collaboration, and communal assistance betwixt multiple, diverse, and intersecting groups. I anticipation we purpose our absorption connected gathering information nets, attraction networks, and contingencies for and betwixt our antithetic constituencies. 

Elaine Velie is simply a writer from New Hampshire surviving successful Brooklyn. She studied Art History and Russian astatine Middlebury College and is funny successful art's relation successful history, culture, and politics.

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