I’m trying to learn what healing looks like when there is no accountability and no justice. The only option left for me is to keep going.
Marte Gastaldello: There is a strong presence of masculine subjects in your art, which may have been considered in your choice of the name “secretions masculines”. Has your transmasc identity shaped your visual obsession with masculinity, and how you position yourself towards femininity?
Elise Goodman: I made my art account when I just started to be fully out as trans. It’s actually funny how I came up with the name because it’s a reference to a perfume by the name of secretions magnifique. I had a perfume hobby at the time. The obsession with masculine visuals honestly started way before I made art, and I think that fixation could be a reflection. I feel that this obsession could be the desire to want something you can’t necessarily have. Now that I’m on testosterone, that focus on masculinity is maturing. I’m almost trying to reconcile femininity, by finding that in other men and not from my past, which is through the lens of cis girlhood. I’ve also been labeling myself less as a lesbian currently. Change is very prominent and present in my life now.
MG: I love the way different outlines are overlapping, it makes the figures and the words appear as a trace, sometimes delicate and sometimes strong. There is an element of tender honesty in your representations that reminds me of diary entries, something I can see also in the fact that you actually include hand-written notes in your pieces. By treating it in the same way you treat the subjects, it all becomes a very intimate outlet for love, desires, confessions and wishes. What are your hopes for the future?
EG: I’m mostly hoping for the best. It’s a constant line between feeling bliss and feeling nothing but dread. I’ve had to deal with a traumatic year and I feel my art has been hit by a car, completely changing it. I’m trying to learn what healing looks like when there is no accountability and no justice. The only option left for me is to keep going.
MG: You quote religion quite a lot. In one of your last pieces I see two very nervous faces, while a fragment in a corner says “God’s gonna get you and your holy friend”. Are they looking for redemption? Do you find this relatable?
EG: Religion has always been present in my life and I don’t think it will ever leave. I think sometimes the figures in my drawings could be me, but I think it’s people I’ve encountered. With this piece, I feel like I’m finding redemption for myself. I want to be saved, I want God to protect me, and I want God to help me heal. It’s a comfort knowing I can depend on God to be/find the justice I deserve.