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“Beaches, Bedrooms” depicts young queer subjects indoors and along various coastlines. The project emerged out of my own gender bloom and has expanded my understanding of the many possible ways to live in a body. Recalling the subject matter of Rineke Dijkstra, in its homage to the sea and dedication to youth in transition; the fashion inspired composition of Collier Schorr’s Neighbors; and the idiosyncratic perspectives of Northern Renaissance paintings, this photographic body adheres to these portrait traditions and marks a shifting field of optics.
I’m interested in these public and private spheres as concentrated sites of ecology, surveillance, legislation, pleasure, and play. Portraits of gender non conforming people, beautiful, supine or mid embrace, disrupt the beach and its aspirations as a unified public space, while gesturing toward the coastal panorama as an integral setting in queer and photographic history – as a cruising mecca and oft-photographed landscape. Photography has always been concerned with representation. As a transgender person who came of age with the advent of the iPhone and social media, I am acutely aware of the potential of images to both widen and constrict identity. Photography as a tool of late capitalism commodifies our attention and fuels a culture of (self) surveillance. With a rising ambivalence toward image saturation, working with medium format film has helped me cultivate a slow and deliberate photography practice, built upon consent, collaboration, and intimacy.
With the commodification of environmental resources and queer narratives in mind, this portrait series suggests a new iconography of landscape, that expands and complicates fantasies of “natural” as well a desire for a whole and stable “self.” In these portraits, violence (both structural and corporeal) lingers at the edges of the frame, but a kiss between blood bags, or a wave breaking, ruptures the more formal and pictorial resonances, loosening toward something like joy.
Angal is a 24 year-old non-binary trans photographer, writer, and filmmaker. They graduated Barnard College of Columbia University in 2016 with a B.A. in English. Originally from Portland, Oregon, they currently reside in New York City, as a working artist. Angal makes photographs on medium format film, drawing from classical imagery, to examine contemporary sites of queerness and the sublime. Recent commissions include a New York Times photo essay on queer people who live off the grid in the Olympic Peninsula, a writing and photo piece on the bodily and musical transition of Girlpool’s Cleo Tucker for i-D Magazine, and direction for a music video for The She’s that premiered on NPR.org.
Artist’s website: http://laurenfield.studio/