Disability and sexuality: reclaiming the disabled body

“Disability represents a significant pivot point where the difference between sex and gender becomes problematic. Gender in the presence of the disabled body does not overlay sex in the typical way because the difference between ability and disability trumps the difference between Ladies and Gentlemen, suppresses the assignment of gender, and denies the presence of sexuality.” (Siebers 2008, p 174)
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Kyla Harris

From Harris’s personal website:

Kyla Harris’ recent body of work stems from numerous NHS appointments and her experience of restricted mobility. Her installations and sculptures are of surrealistic domestic objects made from primarily used or expired medical supplies. Notions of dis/comfort, sustainability and the home are left as remnants of subverted interiors for the viewer to experience. Because of Harris’ disability, much of her sculpture is collaborative. She has carers or personal assistants that construct and assist in the making of her work.
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Belinda Mason-Lovering, Intimate Encounters

This photo exploration by Mason-Lovering looks at the connection between disability and sexuality. All of the subjects are people with physical, intellectual, learning, psychiatric and neurological disabilities. The photographer developed a personal connection with the subjects in order to direct, compose and create photographic images which represent elements significant to each person who poses: “In this way the “subjects” moved beyond the traditional passive subject-role and became collaborators themselves, enriching the personal, political and artistic aspects of the project.” Continue reading “Belinda Mason-Lovering, Intimate Encounters”

Rasso Bruckert, Perfect Imperfection

Another photographer who focuses on disability, Bruckert has chosen to show the disabled body as an object of desire, one that is beautiful and erotic. The photographer says of this work: “For decades there have been these dreadful pictures of us (disabled) in the media – the small, pitiable, disabled person in a corner — often badly photographed. This was always a terrible thing for me, and a sort of motivator that compelled me to try and do way with these belittling “hospital pictures” as I used to call them.” Continue reading “Rasso Bruckert, Perfect Imperfection”