About face: are you a boy or a girl?
19 January 2023 to 19 February 2023
Tamara Dean’s About face comprises 11 portraits of sitters who each have been described or identify as androgynous. The title is inspired by a comment made by one the sitters who has been asked ‘are you a boy or a girl?’ or ‘are you a man or a woman?’.
‘I have never thought of myself as ambiguous … When someone questions my sex because of the way I appear and dress; I think to myself, good, ask me and learn that to be a woman I don't need to act and look a certain way.’ – Grace
‘Androgyny’ is derived from the Greek word andros meaning ‘man’ and gyne meaning ‘woman’, and is today used to describe a person who has both masculine and feminine characteristics. Being androgynous does therefore not speak to one’s gender or sexuality. These intimate portraits taken by Dean are accompanied by a text written by each sitter, with each print originally emanating a scent that the sitter had chosen. While the scents may have faded their intent still lingers. First exhibited in 2016 in partnership with Contemporaries, About face explores the complexity of being androgynous and challenges gender stereotypes, learned behaviour and cultural prejudices.
This series of works are being presented in celebration of Pride events across Australia.
Curator: Anouska Phizacklea, MGA Director