In the rapidly changing world that we live in, the prolification of unorthodox gender identities andsexual preferences, is an incredible thing. But as with everything, some social spaces take some time to adjust, especially the spaces that tend to reinforce social stereotypes. Hyper-masculine individuals who get cultivated in these spaces often react in an aggressive or violent way towards these unorthodox identities.
This topic interests me personally, since i am a man who doesn't fall into the stereotypical definition of masculinity. And i often find myself in places where i feel a certain pressure because of this.
One thing i wanted to highlight with my project is how easily you can invade and disrupt the safety of these spaces. For this i picked the gym. My goal was to present the gym attendant with a visual depicting something queer and then redirect their aggression.
I created paper hangers that feature a picture of two men kissing and urge the reader, if angered by the picture, to go excersise instead. I put these hangers all around the gym.
In order to avoid direct confrontation while putting the flyers up, idecided to put them up in the morning and then check with the gym employees later in the day.When icame back in the evening, a gym employee told me that that some gym-goers asked about the flyers.
The goal of this project was to invade the hyper-masculine space and expose it’s fragility. Seeing as even my small intervention just in afew hours made some people react negatively it shows how fragile masculinity really can be.
This project was created during the course Critic – Critical practice in Graphic Design at Department of Visual Communication at Academy of Fine Arts and Designin Bratislava. Tutored by Katarna Balážiková. The course foucuses on practicing and developing individual or collaborative critical projects.