D. S. Chapman

D. S. Chapman, Mending, digital video, 2016

D. S. Champan, [redacted] never met a mirror [s]he didn’t like, digital video, 2016

D. S. Chapman, exercise reel, digital video, 2017


In Zackary Drucker’s performance piece entitled one fist (2010), her audio voiceover states that “as long as I cannot question the existence of normative sexes and genders, it will be my body and my gender that are on the firing line, that I will be forced to define, defend, and make art about over and over again.” As a transfeminine artist, my work strives to complicate traditional notions of gender. Working across photography, text, video, and performance, my practice explores the construction of gender as a foundation for one’s own identity, the relationships that we form and the ritual involved in the performance of our genders. My body serves as material and subject as I explore my own mutability through fragmentation and layering. Informed by transgender history, feminist and queer theory, I present my body simultaneously as an empty signifier of trans femininity, and an autobiographical record. Utilizing narcissism and sorrow, I aim to elicit an empathetic response in furtherance of familiarizing, as opposed to normalizing, my potential audience with the intricacies and intimacies of gender.



D. S. Chapman is a Texas-born artist, organizer, and cultural producer based in San Diego, who is invested in the contemporary representation of trans people in art and culture. Working across media and performance, the artist explores the construction of gender as a foundation for identity, relationships, and ritual. Chapman's work has been exhibited and screened internationally in museums and artist-run spaces including the Czong Institute of Contemporary Art, RAIZVANGUARDA Associação Cultural, and Altes Finanzamt.