FOR ME AND YOU
Photography by Megan Dalton
Through her latest work, Megan has used photography as a form of therapy to hold a mirror to her own personal relationships and feelings surrounding men. In return, this expression of vulnerability was met from the men the other side of her lens. The work also comments on performative gender roles by showing a multifaceted side to masculinity through a series of portraits taken over the last 10 months.
Pop culture often reduces performativity to the idea that gender is a social construct; this sets the 'social' against the 'natural' and implies that gender is an artificial layer. Performative gender roles are created by the repetition or re-creation of what's expected from an individual; gender is not a thing so much as an involuntary process of active and linguistic patterns.
"Take shaking hands, for example. A masculine' handshake between two male-identifying individuals is not really a choice, but rather a compulsion rooted in previous actions - both their physical performances and the way they're spoken or thought about as 'masculine'. There's an unspoken choreography that moulds the encounter between two men. The moment the performance is brought to the level of awareness is precisely when it comes to feel clunky and unnatural, because this reveals the fact that the sequence could have been executed differently." (W. Fraker, 2018)
Going back to the idea of how society views gender as a construct, arguing the social against the natural, Megan brought these two elements together in her still life practice by mirroring the body movement and nuanced gestures of her subjects; orchestrated natural forms which comment on the artificial façade of performative masculinity.