The concerns that inform my work are based around questions of identity, desire, freedom and difference. I am interested in narrative and in its undoing, in how we are constructed as human beings and what we look to and re-fashion, as individuals, in terms of constructing ourselves.
In my series Marie Claire RIP (2007) I play the role of an unnamed woman. Initially arrested and photographed by the N.Y.P.D. Marie Claire magazine then presented these mug-shots under the header Diary of a Heroin Addict. I re-staged the portraits using myself as subject and used the article’s title as an anagram for each of the image texts, in conjunction with the dates when the original mug-shots were taken. The images are shot on a large format camera so they can be exhibited slightly larger than life-size.
In part this piece was motivated by a desire to memorialise an unnamed person, a woman who had already died and had no control over the use of her own image. This woman is changing before our eyes and looking back at us, observing her demise. At once the projection space for my own addiction/annihilation fears, I also wanted her different, rewritten, destination unclear. In attempting to memorialise an unknowable woman I am perpetuating a fiction. In doing so my intention was to open up the narrative by inhabiting the space of the other.
While the piece challenges the veracity of the photographic portrait it also finds an authenticity in a notion of self-portraiture which involves acting. It is me and it isn’t her and yet it is her and it isn’t me at the same time.
Catherine Somzé wrote of this work: “These 12 self-portraits in the guise of a staged index documenting the downfall of an unknown drug-addict constitute a reflection on the ideology of photography and on the cultural inscription of the female body.”
List of Works
Series: Marie Claire RIP (2007)
All images 30 x 36 inches
Digital C Type print
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Essay / Essee, Performance / Performanssi, Photography / Valokuvaus
Tradigital art series #1 was influenced by the great photojournalism masters and their humanity and by the Film Noir directors with their gloomy grays and blacks and whites, with their dark and inhumane side of human nature, emphasizing the brutal, unhealthy, shadowy and dark side of the human experience.
And it was inspired by Cordel literature: the popular and inexpensively printed booklets containing short stories, poems and songs, which are produced and sold by street vendors mainly in the Northeast of Brazil, where the artist’s mother is from.
They came from the papel volante tradition of Portugal and are usually produced in black and white and illustrated with woodcuts.
The cordéis talk about popular day-to-day life concerns and offer a direct insight of the true living conditions of the population and the rituals, superstitions and behaviors adopted in order to cope with life’s trials and tribulations.
These rituals, superstitions and behaviors repeat and repeat and repeat and numb us to the pain but only to offer another form of ‘prison.’ One that we make ourselves.
Tradigital art series #1 — original pencil on paper drawings worked digitally and printed as archival quality fine art prints on Hahnemühle smooth white 100% Rag based paper, with pigment inks. Signed and numbered by the artist in limited editions of 25.
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Illustration / Kuvitus, Printmaking / Taidegrafiikka