Michael Bailey-Gates (b.1993, USA) uses photography to gracefully dissolve binary perceptions of gender, identity and sexuality. In their intimate, exuberant portraits of themselves and the friends they collaborate with, nothing is fixed; the labels we are conditioned to use ebb into irrelevance and with each photograph expectations are tossed aside. Postures, objects, roles, relations and actions we have been told are exclusive to a few are here playfully reclaimed by anyone. For Bailey-Gates, existence and expression cannot be confined to a handful of definitions.
In A Glint In The Kindling, photographs are made to affirm a coming reality. Transgressing against set gender roles, Michael imagines new ways of being within the confines of a gender binary. The pictures are created through intimate questions about how we could re-imagine our relationships to each other. Existing both as subject and photographer, the images present these personal truths shaped by the imagination.
To construct pictures that invite an inquiry, beyond what’s deemed possible or real. The works invite us, not to just a world beyond, but to one which already shines through the cracks of this one.
A Glint in the Kindling speaks to the impossibility of seeing ourselves fully, and celebrates the perpetual dance of trying.