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Dean Hutton

DEAN HUTTON is a genderqueer* trans media artist provoking dialogue about the gaze, queer bodies, love and social justice. They have worked across photojournalism, print, digital, video and social media, performance and community action since the late 1990s. Their extensive studio practice, as a photographer and a visual artist producing works on paper, digital video and sculptural objects, bridge intersecting genres of documentary, fiction and fantasy to produce radical queer counter-narratives. In an evolving public performance as Goldendean their strategy of simple and often improvised, disruptive actions by a “Fat Queer White Trans body” share moments of soft courage to affirm the right of all bodies to exist, to be celebrated and protected. (1976, ZA)

*Genderqueer is a non-binary transgender identity. Please use They/Them gender-neutral pronouns.

Since 2019 Dean Hutton has worked as a sessional lecturer with Wits University’s Department of Fine Art and the Market Photo Workshop where they continue to develop spaces for inclusive shared cultural practice that prioritise learning to support humxn dignity, to contribute to the building of loving communities and resilient social movements.

In late 2018 Dean Hutton was awarded a Masters of Fine Art, with distinction, at the University of Cape Town. Their research thesis, Plan B, a gathering of strangers (or) This is not working was recently published in Germany by iwalewabooks, a new imprint affiliated with the University of Bayreuth.

The far reaching impact of their work, beyond the mediated aesthetic of the cultural and social contexts in which appears is most evident in a South African Equality Court ruling dismissing charges of Hate Speech laid against the exhibition of art posters displaying the words “ Fuck White People ” at the South African Iziko National Gallery. Situating Dean Hutton’s work in a broader anti-colonial struggle to “confront, reject and dismantle structures, systems, knowledge, skills, and attitudes of power that keep white people racist.” Chief Magistrate DM Thulare, ruled that the work’s context, as art, brought attention to structural racism and white supremacy, drawing South Africans to a “critical moment of self-reflection” of race and privilege and hurt feelings.

“Don’t get it twisted: queer performativity and the emptying out of gesture” by Bettina Malcomess, in Acts of Transgression: Contemporary Live Art in South Africa edited by Jay Pather and Catherine Boulle. Wits University Press.

The Line, a play on interviews about the 2008 Xenophobic violence written and directed by Gina Shmukler, with Khutjo Green and Gabi Harris. Set design Niall Griffin. Original music Charl-Johan Lingerfelder. Waste of a White Skin, The Carnegie Corporation and the Racial Logic of White Vulnerability by Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, 2015. University of California Press.

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