As a [wo]man
As a [wo]man is a research project, resulting from a year of quantitative experiments. As a feminist artist aiming to deconstruct gender roles, I had decided to take distance with the theories that were leading my practice, and focus on gender representations held in the population. A few times per month, I gathered small groups of random strangers (over 100 people in total) in front of my camera and asked them to react to fictional situations by acting. The first few months, the questions asked evolved from a shooting to another, in order to develop a larger panel of reactions and explore a maximum of aspects of my topic (such as gender performance, masculinity and group dynamics, freedom in public space...). Shooting sessions were always followed by a discussion, to let the participants share their experience and see how it impacted them. Most of the time, they were surprised by their own thoughts (for example realising that binarity of gender/gender expression was a social construction), or realised their male or heterosexual privilege (mainly from the acting of "waiting for the train"/"waiting for the train as a man"/"waiting for the train as a woman"/"waiting for the train as a male gay couple"/"waiting for the train as a female gay couple").
This research helped me develop my practice by understanding body language, gender performances, and how I should interact with my cis male models as a queer woman. Watching this video again after four years makes me realised how different I am now. I've been through a deconstructing and theorising process of gender and sexual identities, became more aware and confident, embracing queerness and fluidity of identities.
Aubane Berthommé Martinez is a Rotterdam based artist, curator, and a million of other things. As a multidisciplinary artist, she uses various media (mainly photography and painting) to explore, question, and re-construct elements defining power dynamics and one’s identity (gender, sexuality, perceived race, positioning in contemporary capitalism system…). Her visual aesthetics combine pop culture, poetry, kitsch and extravagance.
In 2020 she created Squish, a queer and feminist platform and collective organising cultural events. Via Squish, she organises podcasts, exhibitions, workshops, and parties, all celebrating and revealing the political implications of LGBTQIA+ identities.
To view more of her work, visit her website or social media.
Alternatively, you can view the work in SEAS' May exhibition, 'The Face of the Other'.