Premiered at the group show 'Mexico Cool Tour' on Nov 21st 2018, MOTHER is a 150x90cm installation with LEDs, now on permanent display at Cápitan Gallo nightclub in Mexico City.
About the piece:
Over the past year, much of my work has been concerned with trans people in Mexico City. Investigating what it means to be feminine, while revealing what is under the surface of the everyday, allowing people to experience what they might usually feel uncomfortable with, thus normalising social taboos.
However, I increasingly understood that the problem with the place of trans people in society has nothing to do with how people perceive them, but everything to do with how people perceive themselves in relation to them.
I have been dismayed by some of the attitudes displayed toward trans people, hidden in reactions toward my work, which, to my surprise, have come from those who consider themselves part of the LGBTQ community.
Some have expressing a moral superiority to my work, suggesting that I don't have the right to be doing it, that I shouldn't be portraying trans people as nudes, that I am exploiting them, or, perhaps most offensive of all, that I should '...show them doing the shopping to humanise them'. People are humans ffs...
Of course, these comments wouldn't be levelled at my work if my subjects were men or women. So why do these (non-trans) people feel they have the right to claim ownership of my modes? Whatever the reason, they should be ashamed of themselves as they are actively perpetuating the stigma surrounding trans people.
I've had enough. And so have my models who I have discussed this with: 'Just tell them to fuck off,' was the advice I received from one of them. And she's right.
So with this piece, MOTHER, I have chosen to be as confrontational as possible. This is a direct window into another world, and if you don't know where to stand in front of it, we are telling you as directly as we can that the problem is with you.
Your sexuality does not give you ownership of others. Self importance spreads hate. You are no more, or less, relevant than a trans person. Yes, I'm angry about this.
About the model:
Flores is from Argentina and had decided she no longer wanted to be a trans, so had her breast implants removed, but by that time they had become so large because of the female hormones she had been taking that even without the implants they were still pretty big. Wanting to escape her life in Argentina she was told that she could make money working as an escort, and began travelling internationally - I met her here in Mexico City.
Usually my models are nude, but Flores was comfortable wearing her go-go boots - which lend an aggressive coolness to the image. Very open and amiable, she was very happy to act as my model and was proud of the resulting images (some of which are included in my album cover box set).
Flores spoke good english and told me that the next day she was travelling to a port on the west coast of Mexico, as she knew of a ship that was coming in and that she was hoping to find many clients among the sailors. After that she planned to go to Amsterdam, despite not knowing anyone there. There are a disproportionate number of trans people working in the sex industry, and that should not be mistaken as their place, but equally that is no reason to judge them (or anyone else). it's a dangerous world. I hope Flores stays safe.