BECOMING–THEM

Artist residency at Cool Change Contemporary, February 2020.

Catalogue Essay

“How does the space between queer body and world
feel? I’m not sure. It feels fierce and wonderful and hot,
and uncomfortable and endless.
What is unknown has been a large part of my experience thus far. As a queer nonbinary transmasculine creative, I find myself expected to speak to the experiences of the entire community. Frankly, this is impossible,
unfair and holds a vast amount of pressure. How do I
present answers to questions about parts of myself that
thrive in ambiguity? Short answer; I don’t.
Trans and queer folx are often driven to internalise expectations of self-awareness. We are expected to have
all the answers. To be resolved and steady in our identities. On one hand, self-analysis is key to uncovering
a self stifled by heteronormativity. It is a beautiful tool
to have in my arsenal. On the other hand, it becomes
a draining, repetitive cycle of self doubt. Dredging up
internal muck for the sake of cisgendered and straight
understanding. I’m queer and I’m tired! I’m tired of
analysing everything about myself, only to have to
minimise my selfhood into palatable homonormativity
[1]. Easy Listening Queerness is a radio station I will no
longer play.
Exploring this ever-evolving “unknown” through modes
of softness and strength — on my own terms — will be
key to the work I produce during my residency. Two
months ago, I started hormone replacement therapy to
masculinise my body. This decision, which was very

deliberate, and subsequently the profound changes I’m
beginning to feel, are what I want to explore. I am not
searching for concreteness or answers. Power and fear
coexist within the act of choosing my own body. Going
through this transformation with acute awareness of
my physical self will act as a guide to the work I make.
I am thinking about the studio as an incubation space
for the intensity and emotion so heavily linked with personal experiences. I hope to facilitate my own growth,
and even more hopefully the growth of participants
and visitors, too. (Queers have a lot of hope.)
This work is for us, for me, and for them.

  1. Bolen, Derek. “Homonormativity.” The SAGE Encyclopedia
    of LGBTQ Studies, 2016.

Sam Huxtable is a non-binary/trans, queer artist working in Perth, Australia. Exploring the queer body and
psyche, their work finds commonality between fantasy
and reality and reaches out for both emotional and visceral response.
Engaging with a range of mediums including digital
media, sculpture, installation and performance work,
Huxtable navigates the unresolved, expansive notion of
existence from a queer perspective – an existence that
resides in constant flux – alongside the experience of
others in their community. Through these explorations,
solitude and togetherness / harshness and tenderness
work simultaneously to reflect form and experience
which are often overlooked.”

Full catalogue at https://coolchange.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2020P1CCC-Catalogue_final.pdf