Oraison H. Larmon is a doctoral student in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Larmon’s research centers around bodies, records and archives with specific focus on 20th century performance art in the Americas. Their dissertation “Trans Figural Records: Trans Bodies Across, Through and Beyond Archives” introduces a new archival concept that re-configures how records come to represent trans bodies. Employing an innovative methodological approach, Larmon examines trans and travesti artists who create performances that counter the historical erasure of gender variant bodies in archives. This research breaks new ground by working across archival studies, gender studies and performance studies to propose a theory for thinking about transitions into records.
Larmon worked as an archivist at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics—a network of artists, scholars and activists from across the Americas who address social justice issues through performance research. They also worked as an assistant curator at NYU Libraries, assisting with appraisal and preservation for collections in the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library. With pioneering feminist visual artist Martha Wilson, Larmon is co-curator of Franklin Furnace: Performance and Politics—an online collection that includes records from queer, trans and artists of color who confront social-political issues through performance art. They have presented research on performance archives at multiple academic and artistic institutions, and are currently writing an article on Julie Tolentino's THE SKY REMAINS THE SAME. Larmon is editor of Franklin Furnace: Performance and Politics (HemiPress).