GIRL, BOY, EUPHORIA (Photo series)

Izzy Hall

Izzy is laid down in a nest of fabric in the fetal position wearing a small green dress and heavy makeup, head rotated and looking up toward the lens. The scene is under a deep red lighting and they are clutching dead flowers to their chest while laid among old photographs and fabric that is secured to their neck. Izzy's face is fearful yet accusative as they stare at the viewer.


Izzy is sitting on the floor of their house on their knees under a heavy blue lighting. They wearing a checkered shirt and jeans are facing a mirror that is propped up in front of them, knees apart and looking over their shoulder at the camera lens. In the reflection of the mirror, Izzy's shirt hands open to reveal their breasts are taped down. Their face is sad and disturbed.


Izzy is dancing freely with their arms above their head. There is a projection of blue light from the left and red from the right illuminating Izzy dancing with a huge smile, wearing a black corset, jeans and a leather o-ring collar. Their eyes are closed in ecstasy.


In GIRL, BOY, EUPHORIA I use essentialist ties between gender and colour to explore the conflict between my gender identity and how I am gendered by others based on aesthetics or surface impressions. Touching on themes of fertility, life expectancy, body dysmorphia, passing, I use ‘gendered lighting’ – reflective of essentialist ties between colour and gender – to emulate being misgendered as a woman or a man. In the final photo of the series, EUPHORIA, I combined both blue and red lighting to depict my desire to be viewed as an eclectic mix of what is constituted masculine and feminine while existing as neither one nor the other. Ace Lehner’s work studying trans self-imaging praxis guided me to focus on what they describe as ‘internal feelings’ of trans identity; allowing me to set free the impossible task of visualising my complex and fluid gender identity in a single frame. This internal feeling of gender euphoria, for myself, is depicted in EUPHORIA not by certain aesthetics, but by joyous movement where my non binary body can extend into space unrestricted by the traditional binary parameters of gender identity. By articulating trans subjectivities and disrupting hegemonic practice in self-portraiture we can begin to dismantle the cisgender-heteronormative gaze that perpetuates violence against transgender and non binary bodies.