I think as it is with any kind of art, some things speak to you and some things just don’t.
Lee’s work didn’t really do anything for me. I can’t really pinpoint why, but it just seemed really pointless to me for some reason. I don’t see how it is a comment on photographs being able to capture our essence. She changed her identity to make these images, so I am not seeing the connection. I think after seeing so much of Sherman’s work this pales in comparison. Also, I think they are quite cynical.
However, Morrissey’s work interested me. I am not really sure why this did, and Lee’s didn’t, because essentially both of them are dawning a mask of sorts to make the images. however, Morrissey’s work is more authentic–in a sense–because she puts herself into an already existing context so it makes it more interesting to me because the process she needed to go through I think is cool. Also, the other people in the images were staged, but only in the way that they knew they were taking a photograph with someone dressed like a loved on. I like how some of them looked really tickled to be a part of the project.
If Morrissey approached me to do this project Front, I would definitely say yes! Being in Turkey where sometimes I find the creative aspect of the culture quite oppressed, especially of late, it would be a welcome diversion.
The other work I liked of hers was The Failed Realist. I liked the concept behind it (that children can’t use images to depict their world for some time due to fine motor skills) but also I liked that it was a project done with her daughter so in a way the work also becomes about her daughter and documenting an aspect of her childhood even though the child herself is not visually present, the workings of her hands are. I think in the future the child will be very interested in seeing this work.
My current focus, Marina Abramovic, famously said that artists can’t be mothers or that they hold women back. In some ways I agree with her. To do it right, children take a lot of time and effort and art also needs this. So when I see women artists with children, I am immediately drawn to them because it is hard to do both. I think though that children can give us a sense of grounding that is unique so Abramovic missed out on this. Though knowing about her upbringing, I would say she is more avoiding her own childhood then actually having children. She had it pretty rough as a child and sometimes we cannot recover from our childhoods sadly, so I think Abramovic was smart not to have children.