1. Confronting the self: I have been defined as a photographer for quite a few years now. I am completely at ease in my ability to create an image, a brand if you will, around myself. I compile lifestyle imagery, buy into curated realities, and rely on my own constructed reality heavily. My own body is always hidden, and my true, nervous, awkward, clunky, self conscious self- remains well concealed behind exclamation marks, beautiful light and contrasted filters. This piece became a study in breaking down those constructions of self. In recognizing and agitating those constructions. I found myself so much harder to decode and pry apart than I would have guessed.
2. The selfie as a feminist act: I am not pro-selfie: Yet, the internet and Peggy Phelan are telling me that the selfie, “when its subject doesn’t conform to the dominant culture’s idea of beauty- is a radical, empowering act of self love.” That the “female narcissist is dangerous to patriarchy because she obviates the desiring male subject by loving herself. She needs no confirmation of her desirability from him.” To me, this idea of the female narcissist is a mythical one. As a young, in-process woman of color, I am unable to shake my need for external validation, for acceptance, and I am humbled by those who can. To me, the true female narcissist is aspirational and entirely abstract.
3. The deep rooted discomfort in the unadorned self: This piece was meant to be about revealing myself, to myself. Instead I found myself hiding behind blur, displacing myself from the frame, holding onto the absence of myself as a signifier of my past existence. It became a desperate struggle between intention and intuition and I find it almost comical how hard I try to be confrontational and yet also so damn elusive.
4. The lullaby of technology: The lullaby is real. My screen calmed me. It allowed me to be present without being present. It provided me with a distraction from the intensity of the camera. From the expectation of the camera. The lullaby is so real.
5. I find bodies, particularly female bodies to be fascinating. I am beyond the phase in my post-teenage artistic self where naked bodies, bare skinned curves and soft focused limbs perfectly encapsulate my emotional experience. But I’m not far from it either. I still feel the need to discover femininity. To indulge my own vanity and/or self doubt in the slipperiness of mirrors and poorly attempted self portraiture.
6. I yearn to be the firmly grounded female artist with the refined, unique aesthetic. The post-colonial feminist of color and significant privilege and great boots. With a working style that defies or toys with female adolescent angst whilst somehow remaining focused around complexity, larger perspective and maturity.