black&gray is a photo series depicting body modification, in the form of tattoos and piercings, on bodies of queer people of color. The series exhibited at The Local in Oberlin, Ohio, February - May 2013.

I came to this project exploring Carla Kaplan’s theory on the subversion of identity. To subvert, in this context, means to disconnect ourselves from the idea that we are indefinitely bound to the characteristics that compose our bodies. 

Instead, we are called to recognize the fluidity of identity; how it is performative and constantly in flux.

I began to think of and explore this theory specifically through the lens of body modification. Examining the (semi)permanence of piercings and tattoos, I wondered, do these forms of body modification further define our identities? Is there a way in which these modifications further describe ‘how’ we identify, rather than ‘what’ we are?

february 2013