Posturing : Drag


Color photograph with text

49.1 × 33.7 cm (19 5/16 × 13 1/4 in)

In Posturing : Drag, Martha Wilson is captured in a pose made explicit by the accompanying text: the viewer is faced with a self-portrait in which the artist is in drag—a man dressed as a woman.

This photograph documents a performance, and the stated device underlines the ambiguous nature of this image: the artist plays with a series of layered representations, adding make-up and posture to her re-enacted female identity. By disrupting the distribution of the contrivances of gender in this way, Martha Wilson succeeds in creating an indistinguishable and free identity.

This work foreshadows the practice of Cindy Sherman and of artists who questioned representation and made it the focus of their work. Throughout her career, Martha Wilson continued to pursue her analysis of the construction of identity.

This photograph by Martha Wilson is presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection in the exhibition "Ouverture" at the Bourse de Commerce in 2021.