Trans(per)Forming Nina Arsenault (Book)
An unreasonable body of work
Transgendered playwright, performer, columnist, and sex worker Nina Arsenault has undergone more than sixty plastic surgeries in pursuit of a feminine beauty ideal. In TRANS(per)FORMING Nina Arsenault, Judith Rudakoff brings together a diverse group of contributors, including artists, scholars, and Arsenault herself to offer an exploration of beauty, image, and the notion of queerness through the lens of Arsenault's highly personal brand of performance art.
Illustrated throughout with photographs of the artist's transformation over the years and demonstrating her diversity of personae, this volume contributes to a deepening of our understanding of what it means to be a woman and what it means to be beautiful. Also included in this volume is the full script of Arsenault's critically acclaimed stage play, The Silicone Diaries.
After sixty surgeries at a cost of almost $200,000 to feminize and beautify her originally male body, transgendered Canadian artist Nina Arsenault has created a body of work emanating from her experiences that includes photographs, videos disseminated online, a website, a blog, several social networking presentation sites, stage plays, print media writing, and performance of the body in both celebrity appearances and daily public life. Arsenault was born in rural Ontario in 1974 and until the age of six lived as Rodney in a trailer park with her working-class family. Her father delivered bread.
Judith Rudakoff is professor of theatre at York University in Toronto, Ontario. She is an award-winning dramaturge and coauthor of Between the Lines: The Process of Dramaturgy.