Barbara Campbell

CLAIM: `Passing' is an art.

Barbara Campbell She baits us with her inescapable literary reference, dares us to think of her as a latter day Galatea sculpted to perfection by a love-sick Pygmalion, an alternative Eliza Doolittle linguistically transformed from (Australian) plebeian to (Italian) patrician in the hands of a professor of phonetics. She has let slip a vital clue. However, is the betrayal too calculated to be believed?

Is this fraud or personation or rather a mirror held up to the vagaries that go to make up our likely stories?

Excerpt from an essay by Jacqueline Millner

GalateaGalatea video evidence 1996

`Passing' as a member of a particular class, ethnicity, gender or sexuality is usually seen as an act of imitation sure to be uncovered, sooner or later. However, the evidence of `drag' shows that `passing' can also lead to a more extreme version of the original--more real than real. Is this magnification through impersonation an art in itself? (D.P.)

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