THE YELLOW STEPS
The Yellow Steps
The Yellow Steps navigates with notions of visibility and change; primarily how the construct of gender is determined by what is visible. The work is a conceit for the way in which the trans body acts in opposition to this trope and moreover, as a site of cultural resistance.
The project is a collaboration between myself and Mika, a trans boy, allowing him to build and actively participate in a narrative of his own construction. The title of the project is derived from Mika’s poem The Yellow Steps, which describes a piece of architecture that at once unsettled him but also offered an escape from his troubled homelife growing up.
Architecture is used throughout to echo this sense of construction, the constant shrouding alluding to the underlying transition beneath.
The work is a construct of measured realisation; beginning initially with the hidden, before a gradual advance towards revelation. For some trans people the desire to ‘pass’ in society is born of necessity, however for others, like Mika, there is a refusal to conform to this binary.
The Yellow Steps centres on this dichotomy; the Foucauldian theory of power amassed via surveillance, in particular on and over architectural spaces and the body. The work therefore explores visibility and its relationship with power.