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A table and two chairs sit atop a circular black rug. The furniture, which was originally white, has been splashed with red paint on the legs of the table and the lower half of the chairs in a way that looks bloody. On the table are small, freestanding books, ranging from half an inch to five inches in height. They are all different, but clearly part of a collection, and they have the same horror theme as the furniture. The books are black, white and red, and contain cut and pasted text.


Niko Kesson

Mixed Media, 2022

I have always had a tendency to get obsessive, escapist crushes. For a long time I conceptualized this as an unfortunate flaw or an annoying quirk, and not the symptom of the larger problem that it actually was. This really came into focus last year, when I realized I was trans. Once I was able to live more truthfully, it became easier for me to form relationships, and I began to see that the obsession problem was a coping mechanism to deal with my loneliness, a loneliness that was a result of being the wrong person in the wrong life. FUCKED UP WOMAN is a series of little books depicting my brain during the period of time when I was untangling my identity from my behavior. Each book contains a short clip of text from my Capstone essay for my writing minor. This fragmented format mirrors my repetitive and nonlinear path to understanding myself. The audience is encouraged to pick up and read the books in any order they would like. The essay can be found here: