Tuesday, April 8, 2008
the birds of appetite
i'm not sure why, but the second i saw the top photo from Helen Maurene Cooper's project "Birds of Appetite," i was super super excited about it. i loved the posed fakeness of it, but i wasn't sure why. the top image, titled "Deep Inside Crystal Lake," has this faux-nostalgic, Adam & Eve / Ken & Barbie vibe that i would not ordinarily expect to love...
but when i found out that the project is made up of self-portraits, i loved it even more, and it made much more sense. (another great one here.)
the images question heterosexual clichés, and place the viewer in an interesting situation as voyeur and something more, too. the estudiotres gallery website says that Cooper is questioning "The dichotomy between, the synthetic and the real, romance and sex, the exchange of power between male and female bodies, and the relationship of the body to landscape." i do see all that in the photos. but "Birds of Appetite" has something extra that the descriptive words don't capture—a real point of view, a consistent visual style, and a lovely sense of mystery.
something to think about while you Return to the Blue Lagoon and go Dirty Dancing...
(thanks for the link, Conscientious!)