PRINT March 1995


Transformation and metamorphosis have always been central to the work of Paco Vacas, whether he is exploring the fungibility of gender designations, embalming himself in a cocoon, or intervening in the work of nature. For Vacas, transformation inevitably has a sexual dimension that opens onto questions of desire. The territory he explores is precisely that which has been foreclosed by what Michel Foucault perceived as the Western obsession with an individual’s true sex—an obsession written in and around the body of the hermaphrodite. For centuries, it was widely acknowledged that a hermaphrodite had two sexes. Biological theories of sexuality, changes in juridical practice, and new forms of administrative control at the beginning of the 18th century led to a denial of the possibility that two sexes could exist in a single body: to each one sex and one alone. It is this notion of the true

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