Friday, December 14, 2007
i saw Domestic Stages by Carrie Levy a few years ago at Daniel Cooney Gallery and a few of the photos stuck with me. well, literally. the gallery had printed the top image, above, as 5 x 7 promotional postcard. i grabbed it and for some reason stuck it on the wall over my computer at home. a lot of people come over and wonder why there is a photograph of a random naked guy on my wall and i have no good explanation.
Carrie Levy describes the project, which she started after finishing an emotional personal project, as "anti-portraiture." a lot of portraits these days play with the idea of anti-portraiture... and i've seen a lot of portraits that hide the face in various ways, but these seem to me to also be adding in an idea of shame. i don't think it's just the nudity and facelessness that adds that in—it's the turning to the wall but also the studio lighting, the exaggeration of the pose, and the choice of color film. Levy also says the project was about investigating "how we deal with identity when you are not exposed to facial details and how the body becomes a gaze which does not see."
do the subjects gaze at us? whose shame am i detecting? Levy's, the subjects', yours, or my own?