Sunday, June 29, 2014

Interrogating: dr.a.g.

I'm not gonna lie. I am not entirely sure how to write a book review of a book that is mostly pictures. Lets see how this goes. dr.ag is a coffee table style book that includes a several pictures of dudes dressed in drag. Maybe, I'm a little out of tune to the lingo, but the first thing I learned is that dr.a.g. is an acronym for Dressed As Girl. (I know, Duh...)

The book begins with a brief explanation of the concept of Drag, and then jumps right into a set of photos organized by model. Some model segments in the book begin with small bios of the model. Others have no introduction other than their name. I would have found it helpful if there was written substance to the book. Ditching explanations and jumping right into photos assumes that the reader is in the know. Although, I believe that the intended goal (provide a book with photos of people dressed in drag) was clearly reached. Nonetheless, after flipping through he book I don't feel that I was left with any lasting impressions. Yes, these dudes are shining examples of drag, but credit goes to the models not this text for collecting the images and binding them together. One of the problems that this might be calling our attention to is that drag is a primarily a performance art, and what gets lost in images of those in drag is a whole spectrum of body language, voice and the spectacle of the stage.

I opened this book because I try to keep informed about human sexuality and gender. I was hoping to learn more about drag and those who participate in the performance of gender. I found the photos interesting and colorful but over all the text lacked substance. I could see how drag could appeal to a an audience that is seeking to see what those dressed in drag look like, but I was left with the question; why pay for a book like this when the photos are just a Google search away? I find it difficult to justify a purchase of a book which includes a collection of photos that the internet brings to your eye sockets in seconds. One comment I'd like to make is that I am reviewing the digital version of this text. From what I can tell the hardcover of this book includes slick high-quality paper and images.

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