Angal: Portraits, 2016-2018
Angal Field

In the summer of 2016, following my graduation from Barnard College, I left New York City for San Francis- co. The move west placed me closer to my medical provider, where I was able to begin a gender transition. This photographic body of work—which features mostly queer friends, reclining along the Pacific littoral, or in cramped New York City bedrooms—emerged from this Western tradition of movement and becoming, but is not beholden to it.

Beaches and bedrooms are tenuous public and private spaces of surveillance, legislation, ecology and play. In these photographs, mythos of the coastline, as a point of epic departure and homecoming, dovetails with a history of queer cruising. The ocean, as an oft-photographed landscape, is a site to navigate the trap of trans (in)visibility. Self-portraits anchor my artistic process, grounding me through vertiginous bodily changes; my subjects as compasses, showing me the many ways to live in a body.

These photographs debuting at Baby Company, my first solo show, are a brush with queer intimacy. They are also an offering of proof. Too frequently trans narratives are expropriated from queer communities and then sieved through a cis-hetero lens; our legibility predicated on passing through the uncanny valley, to the safe banks of the “real.” Ecological, gendered, and racial trauma rests just outside of the frame, with twenty- nine trans women of color murdered this year and counting. Here, young subjects are briefly unmoored from this violence, in states of leisure and beauty, leaning toward the vast, primordial waters.

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