The concept of identity and their perceived evolution in traditional feminine and masculine forms represented in the medium of photography.
The concept of the naked face, blemishes; moles, tread veins all detract from the penetrating eye of the beholder, I wished to capture that vulnerability. The moments of metamorphosis, the evolution of the face once the presentation of disguise is in place. The changes of mood; confidence and posture, I hope I can capture and enhance. I would like to show femininity and masculinity both within their roles and how we generalise these role within our society. For example: the suggestion that a man posing with his legs wide apart, an arrogant expression on his face, avoiding eye contact with the camera, sitting in such a way to show to contours of his enhanced muscles this is classically perceived as male representation to demonstrate intimidation to the viewer and the female role portrayed as a face, heavily disguised features achieved by makeup to represent the perceived illusion of feminine charms and their ability to replicate the physiological transition contained in arousal, the classically featured long red dress locking onto all her curves and body features all in stark contrast to an innocent smile, I would like to capture this in the different people that I choose to photograph. I will achieve this by asking both genders to adopt as a traditional male and female pose, including their perception of the gender characteristic, a natural photograph of them whilst talking to somebody on set and then I will choose one of the images, both are depicted in either gender conformity, this will show the performance of a character in different roles. This will identify the way the media highlights male and female roles and the idealisation related to this. The idea is that my photographs don’t become portraits until the subject transform into their characters.
I was inspired to choose the idea through my fascination and love of makeup and how easily you can change the appearance or distort the perceived image, or adopting a pose as a means to create a different type of character. After much debate, a failed shoot, I streamlined the project.
I have brought critical study and critical debate from the lectures, bringing inspiration from the different photographers discussed in the lectures identifying what they represent and use similar ideas to enhance and inspire my ideas. I have looked at several books of interest to supplement my concept.
I feel that my pictures are culturally acceptable, however, there are very complex and conflicting ideas of gender, pertaining to religious ideology, historical concepts. My intention will never be to cause offence.
I believe that the concept has developed sufficiently because I have been able to underpin research from all different sources such as YouTube,: lectures internet searches, researching other artists linked to my project to identify how best to approach it, reading articles and books, talking to others on the course about their opinions, and art critics who are plentiful as inspiration. The project is personal to me, makeup has a huge power to deceive the eye, when I became ill the use of makeup enabled me to disguise myself almost wearing a mask to give the impression there was nothing amiss.
This project was a natural successor to my previous project. I started researching straight away as I wanted to explore as many avenues as possible. The list was vast, different ideas, long investigations all of which proved to be essential before the tasks could evolve and the shoots could take place.
There was a great deal of trial and error, experimentation, exploring of ideas to achieve my final prints. Five of the seven photoshoot didn’t come out as desired and meant a reshoot, I painstakingly strived to get the best results. I started the shoot on the 23rd November, it took until the 11th December to be fully happy with my results.
The use of visual language is a powerful tool to demonstrate gender and I have found it very enlightening.
I would have liked to find other models to show greater diversity. Black and white was not the best medium for makeup and felt I needed more close ups to show greater depth similarly I wanted the body to also be a focus, I had to employ effective time management to prevent any mistakes. Selecting the best negatives to use. The completed project has much that I would still like to explore and revisit at a later stage. This has felt like a small window of opportunity.