Playfulness and Identity
(by Alberto Maggini)
I decided to talk about the work of Martin Gutiérrez because I find it an extremely well done job, which manages to convey with elegant and subtle irony important themes such as gender identity and indigenous South America cultural background.
I love about this work the playfulness with which it criticizes and subverts the traditional white male gaze while simultaneously raising questions about inclusivity, appropriation, and consumerism.
Martine Gutierrez explores her identity as a trans Latinx woman of indigenous descent with a 146-page fashion magazine she published entirely by herself.
She performs the triple roles of subject, maker, and muse in her own eclectic body of work.
The magazine is Indigenous Woman, celebrating “Mayan Indian heritage, the navigation of contemporary indigenity, and the ever-evolving self-image”.
“I was driven to question how identity is formed, expressed, valued, and weighed as a woman, as a transwoman, as a Latinx woman, as a woman of indigenous descent, as a femme artist and maker” she writes.
“The whole magazine is real in a fantastical and reimagined way. It is taking elements of my life and elements of my identity that are confusing and hard for even me to chew on, and attempting to share them” she said.
I also found super clever how she used a daily trans-woman routine (like doing hair, makeup, styling, taking hormones) to produce a piece of art.
I found exciting how she build, in her Masking works, an identity on alien form just using fruit, flowers and vegetables that could create what we recognize as a face.
“We are trained to look for faces, and once we see faces we are trained to take them apart and ask, What kind of person is it? Is it a man or a woman? All of those markers are so connected to the binary of gender and how we separate people into one or the other. We look at things as black and white when there’s so much grey.” she said.
In the future Demons she cast herself as Aztec and Mayan deities to examine how the sacred feminine in indigenous cultures has been portrayed by the West.