Mid-century is a moment of transition. While experiencing a total change of environment and impacted by intense cultural and physical change a surfacing wisdom arises. A story in 3 parts, Traces, Chocolatines & Vrilles are representations of an external, internal, and physical transformation. What was once a fear has now become an asset.
These perceptual changes, have led to an exploration of mediums, which might not have been considered without these challenges. Through digital capture and archaic techniques, which are newly discovered, flaws are celebrated and transformed to beauty.
"Chocolatines" is a collection of pastry wrappers from Paris patisseries. Each bakery has it's own branding, it's own wrapper and identity. These images represent a change in lifestyle for the artist, accepting the flaws of aging through the beauty that remains.
In a moment in the artist's life, when her hair gets whiter and whiter, she starts to feel invisible. At the same time, many young people seek to have this same color hair, artificially, but also sometimes not recognizing how this lack of color becomes a struggle for those who own it naturally.
a modern hair study
In 2011, I visited the photo archives of the National Library of France. While everything was inspirational, one photograph haunted me for months following my visit. “Hair Study”, by Felix Nadar depicts just a woman’s back and her hair.
I couldn’t stop thinking about what that same image would look like today.
“a modern hair study” consists of portraits of young women photographed from behind. By focusing on the back, the viewer is forced to contend with all of the peripheral things that make each woman unique.
In these intimate portraits I am a voyeur concentrating on a generation that is not mine. While certain ideals are often relevant to different generations, the ways in which women adorn and modify themselves often indicate the struggles of a young adult with their own ideology and individuality.
After photographing these women, I can imagine these struggles are timeless. Existing today as well as when the original Nadar portrait was taken.
A lock of hair signifies different things for many cultures. It can be a way to possess someone or be about holding on to the memory of a loved one that has died. Throughout history there have been many examples of the significance of the lock of hair, from jewelry made of hair, to clips of hair attached to a photograph. Today, with science and technology, we can identify traits, genes, and HABITS from the DNA of one strand of hair!
In 2010, a group of students gave me locks of their hair sealed in envelopes; symbols of their existence and time spent with me. Honestly, I accepted the envelopes and put them in a drawer for safekeeping, not being really sure what to do with them.
While pursing “ a modern hair study” for the past 2 years, I came across the locks again. Upon further thought, I became compelled to collect more. I sent a private message to the important people in my life asking them to send me a lock of their hair. And they did.
The clean and near scientific approach to presenting the locks, I hope, is detached from sentiment. In an attempt to strip the locks of their presumed meaning, it becomes obvious that we cannot remove the intricate, unique differences of hair to identity; physical evidence of the self!
What is a lock of hair worth?
“Related Woman”, as the title would suggest, is a series of still life portraits of three women who are connected to each other by blood. Who would know they would not want to be photographed? In order to capture the essence of the three women, Tara asked each to create a still life of objects that represented themselves. These women have their different roles in the relationship to each other Mother-Sister, Sister-Aunt, and Daugther-Niece and on occasion the roles can be fluid. The still life images become a collection of beautiful and exotic objects, but more importantly, intimate and revealing portraits of each woman and the bond that they have with each other.
In “Desire Tabulations” I am exploring the relationship between men and safe sex. At first impulse it seems that there would be an obvious outcome. Actually, it becomes a very complex question.
By photographing men and presenting them in a formal but intimate portrait and then asking them questions about their sexual practice over the past year, I am attempting to see if the outer appearance conflicts with our assumptions of their
desire and/or sexual need. In what ways do men consider their desire? The project turns from a tabulation of desire to more of a study on perception.
Before every portrait session I made my own personal prediction of what I thought the man’s answers would be and in every case I was wrong. Some men didn’t use condoms because they have been in a long-term relationship and the partner takes care of contraception in other ways. For others, it is because they
are not having sex right now or they don’t have sex in the typical way. All of these examples result in the same number but for different reasons. Some men were in committed relationships and having a lot of sex but didn’t want to get their
partners/spouses pregnant or they just had a baby and were avoiding pregnancy so condoms became essential.
These men where just a sampling of men and in each case their story is different.We as the outsider make assumptions about men and their sexual practices based on appearance and potentially age when in fact every situation is completely unique and the consideration for condoms more complex then expected.
The life size portraits presented in a formal but elegant way was inspired by the royal and French style of the condom packaging. Each portrait exposes the physique of the man as in renaissance paintings of dukes, princes, kings and royalty. Their partnered shelf and condoms displayed as an artifact they possessed.