Chhandak Pradhan_Gender_body_identity_3d scan_12.jpg



Virtual statuettes mirroring poses stereotyped as feminine, rendered using my 3D scan

A source of extreme distress for me, growing up as a sports-averse, gawky teenager in a hyper-masculine 90s India, was being mocked as 'ladies.’ My bullies were neither particularly fervent nor was my position as a heterosexual, cisgender boy uniquely precarious. But the experience made me acutely aware of the male gaze and the intangible perception of gender, hidden within our posture, as projected by a patriarchal society. Later, as a photographer, I would study, direct, manipulate, and use the same body language as a means of visual storytelling. The experience made me critical of the gender stereotypes that are perpetuated and reinforced using posture in the visual culture of films, advertisements, and video games.

But are postures inherently gendered? If not, then what has led to the normalisation of our skewed perception of poses as masculine and feminine? How do we challenge these norms of gender binary which are reinforced using our own bodies? How do these norms mutate or manifest with technology? Using a 3D scan of my body, rigged with standard yet often exaggerated female poses from animation databases, this project aims to build a conversation around these questions.

Project conceptualised during the 'Mimic Yourself' workshop led by Matt Romein and Jean-François Jégo at the InnovationLab of Zürcher Hochschule der Künste [ZHdK] from 29-31 May, 2018.
3D scan by Miriam Loertscher, Researcher at Institute for the Performing Arts and Film of ZHdK.

keywords: gender, identity, pink, gold, embodiment, avatar, body, image, kinaesthetics, rigging, animation
Olesen, Henrik, and Heike Munder. Henrik Olesen: Some Faggy Gestures ; JRP Ringier, 2008.
Wex, Marianne. LET’S TAKE BACK OUR SPACE. 13 July–13 Aug. 2017, ARCHIV, Zürich