Masculine femininity, often dubbed 'cross dressing' in popular culture, has a long history in Western cultural memory. Yet it is often dismissed as frivolous entertainment. Sophia Wallace (USA, 1978) decided she needed a new strategy to prevent unconscious prejudice towards gender construction and representation. By merging a fashion approach – casting, direction, lighting, styling and makeup - with a documentary strategy using real people, Wallace intervenes in the common dismissal of queer imagery, particularly non-normative femininity. The subjects in this series reside in Berlin but hail from a diversity of backgrounds. The specificity of urban context is vital, as Berlin is one of the few cities in the world where female masculinity has a prominent visual presence.
Wallace has received critical acclaim for her work, including honourable mention in MAGENTA Flash Forward. Berlin Lookbook, Wallace’s ongoing exploration of femininity and gender norms, is a collaboration with Nadja Brendel (producer). Her solo exhibition The New Masculine was shown at Leslie/Lohman Gallery in New York in 2010.
To see more of Sophia Wallace's work visit her website.