Art March 14, 2012 By Sara Roffino

All photographs by Cass Bird

All photographs by Cass Bird

cass title 2 Cass Bird
For two consecutive summers, photographer Cass Bird visited Sassafras, Tennessee with a group of beautiful, masculine young women from New York City. She brought along party dresses and tutus, and asked the women to forego cutting their hair in the months leading up to the second summer’s shoot. Rewilding, Bird’s new book, is the photographic story of these summers – an inquiry into and observation of the broadening paradigms through which we understand gender. The photographs in Rewilding are intriguing; they evoke a sense of the ethereal while exploring the spaces beyond the generally accepted confines of masculinity and femininity.
     As with all of Bird’s work, Rewilding’s depth is uncontrived, its beauty authentic. Bird will be at the Lead Apron in Los Angeles on March 15 and at Dashwood Books in New York City on March 22.

In the introduction to the book, Jack Halberstam writes about how you depict gender as contrast. What do you think of this idea?
I had actually never thought about it in those terms. I think that gender is expressed as a contrast, and I am curious about how that contrast or that divide fades away at times. There’s a hetero concept where if you put a masculine girl into a hetero-dress, she’ll be cured of her masculine nature. But it actually does the opposite: if you stick a masculine girl in a tutu or a dress, she looks even more masculine.


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