Ioana TĂmaŞ Ceramics

Who Am I?

Search of identity


Identity is a subject that has always preoccupied our minds. It has a meaning in every field, either in philosophy, psychology, mathematics, sociology, or in our own personal concept and expression. It is what describes our condition of existence and it represents all our characteristics; it defines us as individuals. What we do, think or how we take part in society and culture is who we are. Some of us might try to give identity a precise definition or significance and some might just collect loose thoughts or experiences in discovering ourselves c.q. individuality. Why is it important to talk about identity? It is a personal research, experience and discovery we all go through. It is a concern when a society accepts all individuals but at the same time builds borders between them or has strict requests for integration. Sometimes being different can become an isolation. My project investigates gender identity, one of the most disputable and controversial subjects of our time. At birth we are assigned with a biological sex which identifies us in society as male or female human beings, but the case of gender dysphoria is completely ignored/neglected. The social categorization of gender identity is very limited and excludes individuals that do not rightly fit in the female/male criteria.

In my research I came across the world of Transgenders and Transvestites. Being much impressed by their stories and experiences during their transition, I was inspired to start the work „Who Am I?”. It centres around, enhances and develops the struggle for identity, it expresses thoughts and emotions in the search of acceptance. It represents the double life they have to live and the double identity they have to carry. It is a sensitive discussion of how it must feel to be trapped in someone's else body. Always looking in the mirror and not seeing your own reflection. We all have a moment when we search and try to discover ourselves. Some of us are accepted by society and others are denied. We tend to accept only what we understand and makes us comfortable. What we consider to be „normal”. But what is normal? And who decides it?

The work represents the transition, it reflects the struggle, having to hide the real identity because of the fear of not being accepted. With my installation I wish to show people the similarities and not the differences of a female, male or transgender image. At the end every onlooker came to the same conclusion, that it is hard to point which is which and most surprising that it does not matter.