These off hand, sidetrack, outtake images are, in a way, a recording of this raveled process, this bind. While attempting to bring critical inquiry to a social issue, I saw the spectacle of what I was making. Not only in appropriating and reconstructing a coded familiar language but in my own struggle in recreating this very specific language and marking its critical component with my own presence. Acting not as a self but as a representation of the artist, a pithy placeholder to transform an object to a subject. My own image becomes a trope in service to a concept that demands renouncing any direct autobiographical information for a symbol. And the portrait of that symbol is the cliché of our communication, effectively masking my own story, becoming an anti-self portrait of sorts, which is antithetical to display. The only clue to the actual self is the subject matter I am choosing to put under the white-hot light and deconstruct. With this clue the self cannot be completely extricated, which is exactly why the subject can emerge and take its critical place. The ‘behind the scenes’ snaps expose a flourish of self-subsumation, with that glimmer of the martyr’s irony, through the meeting of the reconstructed image and its background of reality.
Quoting past feminists, I’ve tried to break down the pervasive language of advertising and female representation in contemporary society through a skewed reconstruction of that very language. Recording that reconstruction, dismantles it. The circularity of the entire enterprise is obvious when we see a colorfully wrought fiction deep within its studio environment, the ghost of the authoritative camera on the scene, captured by another camera, subjects torn out of their roles in infectious laughter or caught looking squarely into the interloping lens, the jeweled glow of a composed recital folded into a cocoon of utilitarian mechanics. Revealing the tools and mechanisms used to reprise these myths, hints at our inability to ply ourselves from the language even in the midst of breaking it down. While earnestly building a complex critique, I was simultaneously watching my own mechanizations and fascinated by their implications. Aware of the constant contradiction, I moved forward and took notes. And it is this contradiction which gets acutely back to the heart of the critique; getting even closer to our actual experience of these images in the everyday, which is often clouded in a grey area of irreconcilability, desire and anger, love and hate.
So, maybe this record, my notes from the side, lifts the veil not only of the artist, but of the whole undertaking and its purpose in the first place; the essence of these images being a hazy transparency which runs right back around to the beginning and shines the light brighter.