The conceptual framework of Object for the OTHER continues the examination of the formation of identity in my autobiographical, confessional art. A collaborative project with Nicholas DeSciose and Tracy Tomko, this series of photographic self-portraits draw on personal events of memory and identity conveying a moral ambiguity, an emotional tension between who I am and the collective identity of the OTHER.
A reduction to body and appearance, I relinquished myself to my collaborators, unknowingly to them, to become their object. Restricted and restrained through costumes, weather, hair, makeup and final edits to images I was cinched, smoothed and “imperfections” removed to “perfect me.” I became the Object of affection, desire, fantasy – an interchangeable tool that elicited a response of what people perceive me to be, want me to be for them.
I question, “What is my true identity if I am reflective of the OTHER? Am I my true self, or has the OTHER made me and revealed what I was and established a new type of being not there before?” Performing and producing these “objects” are a personal, emotional response to past events and memories that formed my identity. Fundamentally, the work is a way to maintain psychological equilibrium while engaging the viewer with physical beauty and unsettling pleasure.