Art March 14, 2012 By Sara Roffino

225 Cass Bird What was the genesis of Rewilding?
Dressing the subjects in prom dresses and tutus was like re-visiting adolescence, where girls have to go through the touchstones of prom and homecoming. There are all these rites of passage where the girl gets her hair done and picks out her dress, and for some girls, it’s what they live for. They have that princess sort of comfort zone. But there’s a huge population of young girls for whom being in that situation is really humiliating. For me, it’s always felt humiliating to go through those experiences, so I was curious about how to re-appropriate those symbols, the signifiers. The book is not about being gay and it’s not about being queer and it’s not about being straight. It’s about the moments where you’re expressing yourself in ways that are surprising, even to yourself.
Why did you choose to work with non-models for Rewilding?
I was attracted to these subjects because they had something a little more authentic about them. When people are comfortable in front of the camera, they create a persona, and I start photographing the persona rather than the really vulnerable person that’s feeling uncomfortable. When I photograph someone who doesn’t have the persona, I get to see that awesome transformation when the self-consciousness leaves the body. I’m so much more interested in someone who is being pure and authentic than in someone who knows how to posture really well.

1 2 3