A few weeks back @19syllables and I went to a private view of The Photographers’ Gallery’s latest show, Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s. One of the pieces that caught our eye was Ana Mendieta’s Untitled (Glass on Body Imprint) series, where the photographer uses glass pressed against her face and body to purposely distort her features and natural shape, occasionally to quite grotesque affect.
After the show I read a bit more about her work in an article called Shapely Shapelessness. I learnt how she used her work to mimic, parody and distort the ideals of beauty perpetuated by the fashion and cosmetic industry. Last week as I arched and twisted on my desk to arty affect, her work came back to me. So I decided that this week I would parody myself. Where last week I hid the bits I don’t like and accentuated those I do, with careful composition and a moody black and white edit, this week I have squashed my least favourite bits right up against the glass and taken the colour down to a point where it is almost insipid.
Although this is the antithesis of last week’s shot, there’s something about it I actually quite love. I don’t know what. Maybe the fact that I thought ‘sod it, let’s do this!’