Tara Laure Claire’s latest project borrows from the past in order to meditate on the present

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Marquis looks back again through history to reflect on contemporary representations of queerness

In her first major essay, Notes on Get away (1964), the late American writer Susan Sontag (1933-2004) traces queer aesthetics returning to the early Enlightenment period, composing, “still the soundest starting place seems to be the late-17th and early-18th century, because of that will period’s extraordinary feeling for artifice, for surface, for symmetry; its taste for the attractive and the thrilling, its classy conventions for representing quick feeling and the total existence of character. ” Even though writers and thinkers have critiqued the essay’s justifications, contemporary queer aesthetics without doubt borrow from this era.  

For photographer Tara Laure Claire, late-17th and early-18th century portrayals of masculinity inspired her latest collection, Marquis, along with 1960s Bollywood aesthetics as a reference to her Indian heritage . In Marquis , Claire reimagines these inspirations in a surreal style, reviving their looks to meditate on contemporary manifestations of gender, identification, and sexuality. “The colored tights historically worn by men were my major inspiration, ” Claire describes. “[And the question of how the] beliefs and the wardrobe [of that period] would manifest today. ”

Isaac Huxtable

Isaac Huxtable joined the British Journal of Photography within October 2020, where he happens to be the Editorial Assistant. Just before this, he studied a BA in History of Artwork at the Courtauld Instititue of Art, London.

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