by Christina Oyawale
where i end, u belong
Gallery 310, February 3rd-8th, 2020
where i end, u belong is a series which focuses on the stories and experiences of men and non-binary male presenting people between the ages of 18-21. Specifically, examining the navigation of masculinity and their perspectives on masculinity’s effects on mental health and identity. Thus, profiling experiences of those whose identities challenge the notion of the social ideology of “the masculine man”. Throughout the series, portraits, stills from video work, black and white snapshots and scanned-manipulated images are employed with the purpose of creating an intimate viewing experience.
The series recounts moments regarding individual experiences with negative self-image, the affects of starting testosterone injections, toxic masculinity and expression through androgynous dressing. Each story offering a new perspective that challenges masculinity while representing the lack of attention made to male and non-binary mental health. Alongside these personal stories, I continued this investigation of masculinity and mental health by observing and documenting male dominated spaces that I frequently find myself interacting in (ie; concerts and skateparks). Documenting men and non-binary people in these spaces allowed for a better understanding of mannerisms beyond just personal experience. The way they move through spaces, articulate themselves and express are reflections of atmosphere and societal expectations.