Michael Corridore


Josh Aronson

Artist Feature

Every week an artist is featured whose single image was published by Der Greif. The Feature shows the image in the original context of the series.

Zhidong Zhang - Natural Impersonation

Mar 03, 2021

I see my practice as manifestations of vulnerability, of defiance, and of my beliefs. Caught between my hometown Ningyuan and the U.S, Natural Impersonation explores the construction of sexuality and identity in the context of the repression and censorship of homosexuality in China.

Engaging in the dialogue of how this “inappropriate desire” can be manifested and subverted through photographic representation, I construct alluring and voyeuristic scenes inflected with fantasy, trauma, fetish, and violence through staged portraits of close friends, family members, myself, and still life made with low value objects I collected from dollar stores.

By introducing the private realm of same-sex romance and intimacy into a public sphere against the backdrop of a heteronormative and phallocentric structure, my photographs reexamine how the exteriorization of homoeroticism is made visible and accessible in a state of grotesque masquerade and performance, which consequently mimics a proximity to an alternative reality that challenges the rigid and stereotypical codes of gender roles, identity construction, and traditional cultural values