“The malleability of identityliterally, the trying on of other skins - is a notion that compellingly permeates Ilona Szwarc’s trio of selfpublished books. The charge from page to page alternates between seduction and horror, leaving the reader with the unsettled feeling of having stumbled onto an extreme beauty feature in a magazine or radically styled cosmetic surgery brochure.” - Lesley A. Martin, Publisher, Aperture
In this, her first book, Ilona Szwarc is dissecting the process of becoming: how an individual assimilates and makes oneself imperceptible in society while engaging a series of internal and external transformations.
Each part of the triptych, consisting of 23 sequential portraits, takes the form of stage makeup tutorials. By employing lookalikes, women who share her general appearance, the artist is placing herself at once as the subject and the object in the photographs. In this stepbystep process she is manipulating her own image through a proxy: her American doppelganger. “As a foreigner to the United States, I stand outside the dominant order while immersed in my own process of becoming. This position, unique in that it is my own, and communal in that it is a space I share with so many others, is the source of my interrogation”, says Szwarc.
These carefully staged photographs confuse the relationship between a portrait or a selfportrait. Szwarc is directing a compelling narrative, in which through cinematic closeups of her painting and drawing on the model’s face, she first creates an uncanny portrait of an aged woman, then through abstract and colorful markmaking she transforms her into a large woman. The series culminates with an androgynous, grotesque, saintly mask, a contemporary Vera Icon of her doppelganger.
Selfpublished by Ilona Szwarc (2016)
Zestaw 3 książek
20 cm x 27,3 cm, 32 strony (każda książka), oprawa miękka
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