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Del LaGrace Volcano

American Hermaphrodyké > Transman
Photographer & Film-maker

"There are no victims in Sublime Mutations only heroes and stars. Ordinary folk living extraordinary lives, without the safety net most people take for granted. Each face and each body are a part of Sublime Mutations because they have impressed and inspired me by being exactly who they are. There are many routes to the same location and no hierarchies of transgression. We must all create our own personal strategies for surviving in a world that wonít acknowledge much less validate, our existence. I believe in crossing the line, not just once, but as many times as it takes to weave a web we can all walk on" (Del LaGrace Volcano)
astrology chart, profile, links


Leo Ascendant, Leo Sun, Cancer Moon, Uranus Rising

Del laGrace's astro-chart

ASTRODATA (Sy Scholfield [copyright] quotes date, year, place and time of birth for chart from Del LaGrace via email in 2003). RR: A.
FEATURES: PERSONALIZED PLANETS: Leo SUN (conjunct Ascednant), Leo URANUS (conjunct Ascendant & Sun), Virgo JUPITER (sextile both luminaries), Libra NEPTUNE (conjunct IC, square both luminaries), Aquarius CHIRON (conjunct Descendant). PATTERNS: NONE. SHAPE: UNDEFINED. CHINESE SIGN: FIRE ROOSTER/COCK. NUMEROLOGY: "10/1" Life Path.
Del (bottom left) and Sy (top right), Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley © Del LaGrace Volcano, 2003

With an undefined shape and no patterns among the planets in his chart, Del LaGrace Volcano is someone who definitely has his own ideas on life. As Del writes in his artist's statement:

"As a gender variant visual artist I access 'technologies of gender' in order to amplify rather than erase the hermaphroditic traces of my body. I name myself. A gender abolitionist. A part time gender terrorist. An intentional mutation and intersex by design, (as opposed to diagnosis), in order to distinguish my journey from the thousands of intersex individuals who have had their 'ambiguous' bodies mutilated and disfigured in a misguided attempt at 'normalization'. I believe in crossing the line as many times as it takes to build a bridge we can all walk across."
He's previously explained that:
"A Gender Terrorist is anyone who consistently and intentionally subverts, destablizes and challenges the binary gender system. This is the notion that only two genders exist, male and female. The fact is, while this system might work (and that's a matter of opinion) for most people it doesn't work. Too many people are harmed both physically and mentally, in the attempt to force themselves into a shoe that doesn't fit."
Gender issues can be/come paramount for people who have each luminary in its own sign (Moon in Cancer & Sun in Leo). While Del has such a combination, both these objects are also conjoined and found in the dreamy 12th house, thus leading to a fascination with the fusion of gender/s and a focus on transcending the usual binary "sex/gender" model. Del's Neptune is the most angular planet that aspects the conjunction between his luminaries, forming a square with both the Moon & Sun. We hear echoes of Neptune (ruler of the 'mutable water' sign, Pisces) in his statement:
"Iíve possessed and been possessed by a multitude of names, bodies and identities in my forty odd years. Change, mutation and migration are as natural to me as staying the same might be to you."
This part of Del's nature stems from the location of Neptune on his IC (base of the chart). Instability and per/mutations are thus the very Neptunian grounds upon which Del's philosophy of life is built, and from which it irradiates.

In Del Volcano's chart, travel-loving Neptune (the planet most associated with photography and film) is found in the last degree of Libra (partnerships and balance) in the Third House (books & communications), while Jupiter (promotion) also aspects both luminaries.

Volcano, (formerly known as lesbian photographer Della Grace) thus studied filmmaking in 1977-79 before moving to San Francisco and majoring in photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. With a 1992 Masters in Photographic Studies from the University of Derby, he has exhibited his photographs as well as his videos throughout Europe, the States, Canada and Brazil. His three photographic monographs are LoveBites 1991, The Drag King Book 1999, and Sublime Mutations 2000, while his filmmaking credits include, Pansexual Public Porn 1997, A Prodigal Son? 1998, and Journey Intersex, 1999. While Angular Neptune makes for a sense of mystery (and escapes into or from it), an exact sextile to this planet from Pluto in the First House brings intimate subjects like the transman and transmasculinity into the open. Throughout his productions, Volcano has pioneered in the area of gender-b(l)ending, especially through the the valorisation of imagery of masculine femininity.

Masculinity and (its) performance (through art) become big issues for many people with strong Leo accents in their charts. Volcano has an outstanding stellium of five planets plus the Ascendant in Leo, with the Sun (as ruler of Leo and these planets) also conjunct the Ascendant in its own sign of the Lion. Thus regarding The Drag King Book Volcano remarks,

"Each image was an event created for the camera based on the performance of a persona in real life."
The trine from the Sun to earthy & physical Saturn means that Volcano reveals (trans)gendered identies as performative, the Twelfth House placement of the Leo Sun reinforcing the view that gender (and masculinity in particular) is a changeable and transferrable rather than fixed construction.

Neptune in the Third House also lends itself to his belief that "language is mine to manipulate."

"I am aware that most of you prefer stability, especially when it comes to gender. The binary imperative demands we make a definitive choice. One sex. One body. Male or Female. Homo or Hetero. Yin and Yang. It's a given. Or rather... it's what we've been given. Gender is the last bastion of civilization as we know it. One of the few Titanics left to us at millenium's edge. I'm an iceberg. A bomb in the Boy's Club. Tick Tock. Tick Tock."
Del's chosen surname "Volcano" and self-described status as a "gender terrorist" and "bomb in the Boy's Club" reflect the combination of several planetary influences. These include disruptive Uranus rising very close on the Ascendant, explosive Pluto in the last degree of fixed-fire Leo, Pluto conjunct pushy Mars (also in Leo), and Mars ruling (and in trine with) the feisty last degree of Aries on the MC. A highly-inflammable combination by any means!

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photo © Del LaGrace Volcano
used with permission

www.DelLaGraceVolcano.com
(official website)

Del's books include

Del acts in

Del has contributed works to these publications...


references

"Del LaGrace Volcano" Sexmutant 2000.

"Sex" Eye of the Storm, Artists in the Maelstrom of Science: International Art and Science Conference 19 - 20 February 1998

Volcano, Del LaGrace. "I am an Intentional Mutation" Body Politic #5 (1999).

---. Sublime Mutations. Konkursbuch Verlag, 1999.

Volcano, Del laGrace & Judith "Jack" Halberstam. The Drag King Book. Serpents Tale, 1999.



© 2003, 2011 All rights reserved in all media
Sy Scholfield