Katie Koti (b. 1979 ) grew up in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Her work to date has focused on identity, desire, and embodiment, often using landscape to explore visceral connections between bodies, culture, and nature. Koti is a member of the Yale MFA Photography class of 2012. She earned a BFA in Photography and Graphic Design (2010) at the Rhode Island School of Design. Before attending RISD, Koti graduated with Honors from Greenfield Community College, Massachusetts, where she studied Liberal and Media Arts. Koti shoots with an Ebony 4x5 field camera.
Feminist Artist Statement
The images in my current project, asunder, reflect my continuing photographic exploration of gender and its relationship to sexuality. The landscape works on various levels in my images. I use the seductive aesthetic appeal of landscape to engage the viewer, but the landscape is simultaneously represented as ambiguous. While it provides a familiar thread for viewers to access ideas of gender and sexuality that may otherwise be unfamiliar to them, I also use the landscape to build metaphorical, symbolic connections between nature and the culturally inscribed human body. These connections invite the viewer to experience and consider relationships between nature and the body in new ways. Aspects of the pictured figures’ identity are revealed when they are partially or entirely unclothed. Our society has attempted to define gender and sexuality into a rigid binary divide. There is often a sense of disconnection experienced as a result of not fitting into these boxes. I hope to challenge rigid dichotomies of identity and to expose the struggle an individual can go through inside of his or her own skin; a struggle that is not only psychological, but also social and physical. I am particularly fascinated by the intersection of pain, clarity, and spirituality that can come from this struggle.