This body of work, titled Copycat, questions the dynamics of looking and seeing that change with perspective. What you see is a series of performances that have been curated into an installation of eleven life-sized black and white photographs of different bodies performing an array of gestures that mimic those used in commercial images. By isolating these gestures from their context, I examine how they function to establish relationships between bodies, gender and power. I’ve combined masculine and feminine signifiers to create tension and contradictions within the images, as a means of implicating my viewers. The aim of the work is to encourage my audience to actively question what they are seeing, and why they are seeing it that way.
The photographs are printed life-size and installed from the ground up to activate an environment that encourages my viewers to engage with the images as if they were a mirror staring back at them. By keeping the variables of clothing, backdrop and cropping consistent in each image, I’ve created a typology, which acts to emphasize comparisons and relationships between, gender, gestures and the body. The images were printed on glossy paper to reference the polished quality of magazines. The choice of black and white, functions to distance the gestures from their context within the commercial language, and to emphasize the formal aspects of each pose. By standing in front of a body that is relative in scale to your own, I hope that comparisons will be made, provoking my viewers to question the different viewpoints of what they are seeing and to contemplate relationships between the photographs in the series. Ultimately, I aim to encourage consideration of how these images differ from mainstream representations of the body in fashion and advertising.