Archive 004 and personal photographs (2021)
With the practice rooted in photography and video, my work has evolved into an active exploration of archival images and collections. In 2019 I began to assemble a large cluster of slides, all from a gay man who had recently passed away in Tucson, Arizona, with no one to inherit his work. I feel connected to him; although I never knew him, I began to draw a strong parallel between the lives in these images and my own. Due to an immense conflict and struggle portrayed in the archive, I identify with these men and their lives as someone who has never had a strong relationship with men. The struggle and strife in these images provided me the agency to find my own liberation away from conventional norms of masculinity. In my work, I challenge the idea of American individualism in order to generate a loose narrative inherent in the original images filtered through my own experiences, desires, and thoughts. I'd like viewers to be able to relate to my interpretation of the original archive and to identify with the experiences of self-liberation.