Normal Male, Normal Female

Essay: Adele Henderson by Ed Krantz

Essay: Adele Henderson and Betsy Stirratt by Felicia Feaster

Normal Male / Normal Female consists of over 130 individual works. The bottom layer of each of these works is the same image - a complete set of male chromosomes on the left side, with corresponding female chromosomes on the right side. On top of these prints sits a layer of clear plexiglas with a thin coating of beeswax, partially obscuring the chromosomes beneath. The pairs of images on the uppermost layer are created with a variety of media: engraved and inked lines, printed transfers, laser prints on film, hand painting in oil and asphaltum. The physical layering of the wax is skin-like, forming a veil that obscures the multiple below, shifting as you look through it and at it.

The grid-like presentation recalls the authority of a natural history museum and has multiple readings as you shift from looking at one unit at a time, to several, to the entire piece. While engaging the viewer to playfully speculate about the nature of gender, Normal Male / Normal Female explores and layers the role of science and culture in shaping self-knowledge of the body and visualization of its intricacies.

Dimensions: each framed piece measures 7.5 inches x 9.5inches Installation size is variable. 1998 -2003.