Åsa Johannesson – The Boy and the Twins 20/8 – 18/9 2011

Åsa Johannesson – The Boy and the Twins 20/8 – 18/9 2011

“My work seeks to explore photography’s relationship to self-image. Fundamentally rooted in a desire for exchange of gazes, my practice is informed by fantasies and fears surrounding questions of who we are, mentally and physically, and who we feel we are in the eyes of others.

The Boy & The Twins is the result of my ongoing enquiry into the relationship between gendered embodiment and subjectivity within the photographic portrait. With The Boy & The Twins I focus on masculinity as an expression for youth identity.

By looking through my family album I have selected a collection of negatives, which I have made prints of in my darkroom. These are snapshots of my twin-sister and myself, taken in Sweden in the 1980s. By creating a narrative I have used my childhood portrait to suggest a multi-layered girl identity.

When I met English teenager Jacob, who identifies as transgender boy, he became a sort of reminder of my childhood tomboy persona. Jacob, a boy in a girl’s body, comes to represent a new understanding of the meaning of ‘boy’.

By shifting between playfulness and seriousness The Boy & The Twins invites the viewer to explore a world where the notion of gender is malleable. Each image becomes a fantasy world of masculinity where colour, gestures, props and gazes form a multi-layered narrative.”

– Åsa Johannesson