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The Animal Seems to Be Moving

Photographic series
Archival pigment prints, variable sizes | 2018-2023

Having always been masculine, in The Animal Seems to be Moving I turn to self-portraiture for the first time to map a shift in my appearance, one marked by both loss and fear. Long perceived to be younger than my age, with this ongoing body of work, I consider the experience of aging out of being read as a young black boy and aging in to being read as a middle-aged black man. Given the threat that black masculinity poses to many, the series is at once a mourning of my own queer boyhood as well as a grappling with the absurdity of having to face increased hostility, simply because of growing older. Deploying performance and humour, these self-portraits allow the viewer to see me looking at myself as I imagine something closer to the truth of what it means to age otherwise in my black, queer masculine body.

Installation Photo (Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2022): Yuula Benivolski