Lake

Lake is an Ottawa-based visual artist, writer, and performer creating works highlighting the experiences of transgenderism and psychiatric disability.


When we say Lake, we refer less to a person than an ecosystem. One may speak of an artist, writer, performer, and, yes, a ladyboy philosopher, but what one deals with, fundamentally, is a feature of Canadian wilderness—a natural body of great beauty. Opposed to the very idea of a fixed identity, the Lake we speak of changes shape with the weather and the season. While looking like a woman, he goes by male pronouns. Not even he can tell when he’s serious or joking.

Somewhere beneath his cool, placid surface, we discover a private world cut off from civilization - a vast cosmology complete with creation myths and prophecies of cyberpunk apocalypses. Here the forces of art and imagination wage endless rebellion against mounting dystopia. Inspired by the apotheosis of enlightened transwomen, they create new worlds to escape to faster than their enemies can destroy them.

The literature produced here less follows its nameless protagonists than it does the socioeconomic developments of worlds that don’t exist—their ideology and rhetoric. The sight of ourselves watching such scenes appears as a quavering shine on the water’s surface and we are reminded that reality is but a pale reflection of dreams.

And yet, the encroachment of humanity does much harm to a frail nature. Lakes are delicate ecosystems vulnerable to over-development. Technological modernity poses risks of information pollution that our subject is forced to seclude himself in the preserve of his own home where his psychiatric disabilities can be tended to by the alchemical formulas of his work. But what is a flower if not its delicacy? The evolutionary pressures posed by intersectional marginality make for a harsh fertilizer, but the vitality of that which survives such incursions is all the stronger.