K8 Hardy’s “Outfitumentary” tracks her personal style and identity | Popgen Tech


With “Outfitumentary,” Ms. Hardy, 45, who exhibited sculptures, photographs and catwalks at the 2012 Whitney Biennial, seemed to anticipate that social media would be dominated by “outfit photos,” “outfit of the day” photos and selfies. But the film is also a fascinating self-portrait of Ms. Hardy’s gender expression in a particular time and place. She only stopped filming when her miniDV camera broke in 2012.

Ms. Hardy appeared in the interview below, which has been edited, wearing a rainbow-colored metallic jacket with a tie, button-down shirt, jeans and pink cowboy boots that she found in San Antonio and Gucci triangle sunglasses with rhinestones on top. (“I buy very little designer clothing, but occasionally accessories,” she said. “It makes people happy.”)

The night before at the Metrograph, she wore a fur coat over a bikini top and high-heeled Crocs. The range of these outfits is similar to Outfitumentary, in which we see her reinvent herself daily in an intimate performance in front of the camera over the years.

What inspired you to start documenting your outfits?

When I was in high school I went to the public library, and in college I searched the archives for pictures of queer lesbian ancestors from the past to find out what their lives were like. There were not many of them, especially if you start from the 90s. There are online archives now, but back then it was very difficult to find things that would help me see the path in front of me.

So when I started this, I knew I was going to create an archive that didn’t exist. I was aware that I was dressing really specific, and for some reason I thought it was important. The idea of ​​writing down your outfit each day provided structure. I didn’t think it would become a movie. I went to film school and didn’t even tell them this was what I was working on. I thought it would be something that someone might find out after I’m dead and think it’s cool.


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