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Primordial Helium

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Poor Old Oss

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1985: A Small Odyssey

(short film)

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Identikitted Out 

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Helium-4

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The Night

My ongoing project uses performance and self-portraiture to deconstruct the myth of masculinity, binary sexuality and gender roles. The title derives from an element that at the right temperature and pressure can exist as two solids, a liquid and a gas, this is an analogy of fluid sexuality and is rooted in my personal experience. This particular element of the work focuses on the male body alongside objects that are often linked to gender stereotypes. These objects add an unsettling tone to the images, giving a quiet aggression to the series. With this project I invert the male gaze, first to understand, then to re-frame masculinity to keep pace with an evolving worldview.

I am an artist and photographer currently living and working in the U.K. Before returning to education age 30 I worked principally as a labourer in the North of England.

The current obsession with selfies is an important starting point to my practice, this has developed into using self-portraiture to question recieved notions of identity.

Over the past 5 years I have been working on a larger body of work that has looked broadly at British male identity. Using self-portraiture and still life I’ve researched themes of masculinity, sexuality, gender fluidity and plural identity and how these interplay with the culture in the North West of England where I grew up and entered the labour market.

For the past 2 years I have used a large format camara. This is important to my practice as repurposing a dated form of image making  allows a finely detailed view of the traditional themes to be unpicked.

Matthew Keenan

Matthew Keenan Portfolio Development_01.
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