Student Work

  • Photography (BFA)

    Evan de Normandie

    As You Are

    As You Are is an exploration of male gender expectations. The project focuses on the personas created by the participants in an indie wrestling scene as a platform to explore issues relating to rigid male norms. The indie wrestling scene is built upon the ideal form of masculinity. Each character exhibits a series of traits: desire for violence, rejection of the feminine, bravado, and a focus on physical domination. This narrow view of masculinity has isolated men that do not fit into the role. The limited nature of this niche social scene is a metaphor for the isolation of non-conforming men who do not fit the mold of masculinity in the society at large. As You Are critiques the limited breadth of masculinity within this scene by showing moments of failed masculinity as well as moments of exaggerated masculinity. The landscape images expose the surrounding environments of the wrestlers and isolate the subject against a white backdrop. The white backdrop is used to expose the layer between the participant's persona and the real world, showing the falseness of traditional maleness. The close-up portraits isolate the subjects within the false world created by the backdrop to demonstrate a struggle with hypermasculinity and the pressure to fit into the mold of traditional male norms. By isolating and exposing these moments, the project breaks down traditional views of maleness through their flaws and opens a door to wider ideas of what it means to be a man.