MirrorCategory: Photographic Art
There are many ways to understand a photograph. There is a tradition with photography that presumes that the content of a photograph, read as a document, is true. Whatever subject is captured on plate, paper or negative is authenticated as at once having been there, and as such eternalised, turning an actuality into an object.
Living a society that is overtly and covertly driven by consumer culture (i.e. the selling of goods and the spending of money), photography is often utilised through devices like the Internet, social media, advertising and the printed word, to influence the way we dress, what we consume and the way we live our lives. Not only are we bombarded to consumerism via photography, we then become our own authors of it – showing status, wealth, and success through the photographic evidence we create driven by attainment and self-gratification.
Mirror explores the relationship a select group of women have with their own self-surveillance. Using the Western cultural symbol of the “Barbie” – a simple child’s toy, highly stylised but often one of the first transmittable icons of what a female identity is definable as in terms of status symbols, sexuality and beauty etc – Mirror examines what happens to an individual when they reciprocate and consume a specific mass-transmited idealisation of identity.
Documenting a total of 18 women in this performative work, the process of their assimilation is captured on Polaroid exposures, objectifying the subject as well as the image into something possessed yet irreproducible.
NB: This work has previously been exhibited under the name ‘The Barbie Menagerie’.