Bring the House Down is a performative self-portrait project that explores the intersection of queer identity and a performing identity, of the social outcasts that hold a “mirror up to their society,” reflecting them back onto themselves (Dedrick 1975, p1). It aims to both entertain and amuse the audience with clownesque tricks, yet simultaneously, encourage them to question their own notions of gender and sexuality.
    The push and pull of masculine and feminine energies, of concealing and revealing elements, of control and submission, light and dark; these subtle tensions are important to express both society’s relationship with gender and sexuality, and the internal conflict with the artists’ own queer identity. Queer moves beyond a mode of identification, and becomes a method of manipulating and playing with the photographic medium.
    The clown takes a serious approach to silliness, dedicating its entire career to making people laugh (or so it is thought). Behind their whiteface and colourful garb, lies a radical performer with an agenda to change society. They use their act to “tricks humans into coming face to face with the arbitrariness of their culture and the fragility of their identity” (Bouissac 2015, p136).

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