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RE:FORM: Becoming Visible

Joseph Medaglia, Toronto (ON, Canada)

Joseph Medaglia’s RE:FORM: Becoming Visible GalleryRE:FORM: Becoming Visible explores the tensions between gay visibility, representation and embodied subjectivity, challenging the assumption that visibility equals liberation and functions transparently.

The overall purpose of this piece is to explore how the invisibility of gay sexuality becomes visible and manifests through the body. In order to do this, I draw from the mythic figure of the monster - a figure that embodies difference and otherness.

In the video, the monstrous body erupts from a green coloured field and constitutes a visual pattern while at the same time the visual pattern constitutes the body. This relationship symbolizes the paradox of visibility, as the visual structure exists only through the display of bodies. In culture, the representation of identities exists through the visibility of identities, yet identities are limited by concrete representations that replicate dominant ideologies.

The visual pattern is intended as a metaphor for structures inherent in representation that attempt to reproduce dominant ideologies. By subjecting the representation of the monster to the visual pattern, I explore the tensions between dominant ideologies and subjects. The growth and collapse of the monstrous body denotes the possibility of resistance to structures in representation.

RE:FORM: Becoming Visible resists the efforts to limit identities and explores the possibilities of open, incomplete subjectivity. New forms are created through resistance. The result is a display of growth, collapse, beauty, desire, sexuality and embodiment.

Joseph Medaglia is a scholar, artist, designer and educator. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art and a Master of Arts in Communication and Culture. His research examines the relationship between representation, identity and the body, in particular as it relates to gay subjects. His creative work employs methods of experimental video, costume, interactive design and more recently, robotics and physical computing. For more information visit

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