York Froon

Artist Catalogue

Virtual Exhibition

The Disassembled Death of the Artist

As a trans artist I have always had a close relationship to both death and the monstrous. My body, through transition, has been seen as both a grotesque corruption of nature and a divine space of embodiment beyond what may be considered human. However, it is so much more common to fear the trans body than to celebrate it, perhaps for fear of the unfamiliar, or perhaps as it carries such strong ties to decay. I have died many times over, in small ways. By my own hand and at the hands of others. Through hatred, and suffering, and pain, I have allowed parts of the person I was raised to be – in name, flesh, and soul – to fester and decay. But I have also been reborn. Through my own strength and will, I have beat and stabbed and broken my body into parts I can sew back together and remodel with a tender and gentle caress. Just as God formed Adam from clay, just as Frankenstein crafted his Creature, so shall I rebuild myself from the recycled and discarded parts I come across. And I do so with the intent of being a far kinder Creator.

The Disassembled Death of the Artist looks at this overlap of growth and decay. It is a shrine to mourn trans death in all forms. So often we become living witnesses to the mourning of our past selves, whilst cast in the role of our own murderers. And seldom do our final deaths garner the same level of grief. When our scarred flesh falls away, when we no longer have lips with which to speak, when the splintering broken bones, and teeth, and horns are all that remain of the shattered and reconstructed monsters we proudly lived as in life… Will those remains be enough for the memories of who we truly were to stand the test of time, and death, and rot? Or will our divine and monstrous existence be reduced to human only through decay.

“I am transsexual, and therefore I am a monster.” Susan Stryker (1994)