|Perry wins the Turner prize.|
here, and it spoke much about the interviewer and, with that, about the society in which I feel part in the UK. The interviewer seems a tad confused about transvestism, in that the view is put forward subtly that transvestism is something that can be picked up, an identity that is much like clothing. It was Perry's response that, in these circles, although common still had me paying attention: "you don't stop being a transvestite because you're not wearing a dress". And that, arguably, is the best explanation I've read about how I feel about myself that I've read in a long time.
This is a long diatribe. I'll put a line break in.
Perry has to defend this too. The interviewer notes with some amazement that Perry rates 7 out of 10 as a male (on Perry's scale) and 0 out of 10 as a female. As if this should be based on the clothes that Perry wears. Indeed, if you have read it, you'll note that the interviewer is put off by the fact that Perry arrives in masculine garb. Perry has attended the BAFTAs and been awarded the CBE in a 'mother of the bride' outfit; the alter-ego of 'Claire' is well known in the work produced and caused quite a stir when the award of the Turner prize was made. In other words, cross-dressing is seen as something that Grayson Perry should 'do', part of the performance and part of the popular image. As an artist, the freedom is there to express through cross-dressing but, and this is important, only as a gimmick and there is no freedom to admit to being a cross-dresser whilst dressed in clothes that reflect the binary gender set by sexual organs. There's even a picture in there of Perry painted with bell and ribbon tied to his genetalia. I found it fascinating that this picture was included, as evidence of the fact that Perry is 'out there' and much of the reported speech aims at showing that Perry remains an artistic snob (which I'm sure is true) and avant garde.
|Grayson Perry. Perhaps the most honest depiction.|
I'm not sure what point I'm making that no one reading this didn't already know, but there we go.