Caeden Wigston Dissension
Dissension explores the manifestations of growing up Queer in the Christian Church. Expanding on my own journey towards understanding religion and deciphering what it is that I believe and what it is that I do not, I look to others to see how they navigate the duality of spirituality and Queerness. Can they exist simultaneously? Or are they doomed to separation – the judgment of one alienating the other?
Collaborating with multiple individuals, I seek answers to my questions. Photographing them in spaces that belong to them; spaces they have created as their own which bear their reflection. How do they perform their own Queerness following a life of religion? Is the residual aftermath of their religious experiences present or absent? Do they allow it to take up space? Does it show on the lines on their face or markings on their bodies? It is through their way of navigating life that I hope to better understand how to navigate my own, taking solace in the communion of our shared identities and past selves.
Dissension uses pages from my mother’s Bible from when she was my own age as a reference point throughout the series. Taking into account the notes, highlighted passages and anecdotes that line the pages, it becomes more and more apparent the differences between my mother and I at similar stages in life. I play with the physicality of this heavily personalized object. Examining this sacred text for what it is – eloquent words arranged on a page that, when read in sequence, form ideas and opinions that shape a particular worldview – words that when dissected under light, lose their clarity and meaning.