K8 Hardy’s “Outfitumentary” tracks his evolving style and personal identity

With “Outfitumentary”, Ms. Hardy, 45, who exhibited sculpture, photography and a fashion show at the 2012 Whitney Biennial, seemed to anticipate the prevalence of “fitness shots”, “outfit of the day” photos and selfies on social media . But the film is also a fascinating self-portrait of Ms. Hardy’s gender expression in a particular time and place. He stopped shooting only when his miniDV camera broke in 2012.

Ms. Hardy appeared in the interview below, which has been edited, in a metallic blazer that sparkled with rainbow colors, a tie, a button-down shirt, jeans, pink cowboy boots that had found in San Antonio and Gucci triangle sunglasses with rhinestones on the top. (“I buy very little designer clothing, but occasionally accessories,” she said. “Those make people happy.”)

The night before Metrograph, she wore a fur coat over a bikini and high-heeled Crocs. The range of these outfits looked true to “Outfitumentary,” in which we see her reinvent herself daily, in an intimate performance for the camera, over the years.

What made you start documenting your outfits?

When I was in high school I would go to the public library, and in college I would search archives, looking for pictures of queer, lesbian ancestors from the past, to see what their lives were like. There wasn’t much, especially if you started in the 90s. Now there are archives on the Internet, but back then it was very difficult to find things that would help me see the road ahead.

So when I started this, I was aware that I was going to make an archive that didn’t exist. I was aware that I dressed in a very specific way, and somehow I thought it was important. The idea of ​​recording my outfit every day provided structure. I didn’t think this would become a movie. I went to film school, and I didn’t even tell them this was something I was working on. I thought it would be something that someone could discover after I’m dead and think, this is great.

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