Not Like the Other Girls
Caitlin Press Inc., 9781987915426, 88pp.
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Butch: Not Like the Other Girls is a photographic exploration of the liminal spaces occupied by female masculinity in contemporary communities. Its first incarnation exhibited as a public art project in transit shelters around Vancouver in March-April 2013, with a simultaneous gallery show at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre (the Cultch). According to Cultch administrators, the opening night (which attracted over 500 attendees and spilled out into the street for half a block) was the largest visual art opening in their 35-year history. The project caused an internet sensation, generating thousands of posts and shares on social media, blog posts as far away as Germany and Denmark, and interest for further exhibitions across Canada and the United States.
This project delineates Butch as an inclusive site of resistance to limitations on the way women, gender, and sexuality are still defined. The images honour the beauty, power, and diversity of women who transgress the gender binary, interspersed with text written by the photographic subjects themselves. The transversal dialectic of female masculinity is celebrated here — unapologetic and undiluted.
The author positions Butch as intrinsically queer. They explore the complex and contradictory natures of butch, “glorying in our mercurial and perhaps sometimes confusing natures.” Butch not only forces a reassessment of the body and the queer subject, it dismantles socialized, role-defined, gender appropriate behaviour. The queer cultures in which Butch is situated are constantly changing, and the author captures a diverse range of portrayals that celebrate and reflect butch identities. In the context of transgender movements, intersex activism, and genderqueer dialogues, a project like Butch on picturing and mirroring butch finds an important place.
About the Author
A native of Los Angeles, artist SD Holman is a photo-based artist, curator and Artistic Director of The Queer Arts Festival (a three-week, multidisciplinary arts festival in Vancouver, Canada). Laureate of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Arts and Culture, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards, SD Holman defines as a participant observer employing subjective conceptual documentary practice.
Holman has exhibited internationally at venues including Wellesley College (MA), the Advocate Gallery (Los Angeles), the Soady-Campbell Gallery (New York), the San Francisco Public Library, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (Toronto), the Western Front, the Helen Pitt International Gallery, the Charles H. Scott Gallery, Exposure, Gallery Gatchet, the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Artopolis, and the Foto Base Gallery (Vancouver). Holman’s project Butch: Not Like the Other Girls toured North America in 2014 and is available in book form by Dagger Editions.