In my practice I conceptualize the cyanotype process to visualize queerness through a combination of research in queer theory and personal experiences. Cyanotype is a photographic process that is light sensitive, once exposed to UV light it is then developed in water.
I have been thinking about visualizing queerness in terms of utopia. Queer theorist Jose Esteban Munoz discusses contending ideologies of queer utopia in his book Cruising Utopia. He discusses our current moment, refers to a timeline of before and after AIDS/HIV, and discusses queerness as in a state of potential, to be obtained by our society. He says “queerness is not yet here”. There is something ephemeral and temporal about the perceived image, and experience of the western identified “queer”, or same-sex coupling throughout human history. I consider the progress and regress of tolerance throughout history, most significantly in our public memory, being the continuous fight for human rights for lgbt2q+ people since the 1980’s social movements for liberation. I compare this tension to the ephemerality of open water. This work is representative of the way in which identity has been constructed or affected by our current world of image-making. I believe that images contain idealities of their own, which are inherently political. I recognize that the creation of image has been used as a tool to further marginalize minority groups, to other. I propose that the tool used to other us, the tool used to attack our identity, is the same tool that will liberate us. It is our responsibility to recreate and reclaim our image to feedback to a society that is image hungry, to create accurate representations of queerness, by creating space for indigenous and queer people of colour. Queerness may not be here yet, but it gets closer with each rise and fall of the tide.