White Face Echo-chamber
In a recent show that included my work, there was a photograph by the afro-deutsch (afro-german) artist Philip Metz that caught my eye. A beautifully seductive photograph of himself in WHITE-face , across from a Talkberg (a mountain of talc-powder) used for the face and make up (reminiscent of the early pigment-mountains of the artist Anish Kapoor)
I am very interested in the works of artist that resemble each other and yet are completely different in intent and ultimately details.
I had created in 2000, while living and working in Paris, a project which i would call "The Hip Decadence of Seductive Glamour" as a response to my then environment of fashion-world overdose and the nagging details of its political deficits.
I collected many coins to use in a public coin-operated photo-booth located in the underground level of the "Opera" metro station in central Paris (9th Arrondisement). From my atelier at the Cité internationales des arts where i lived and worked, i started my transformation with blond wig, some fashionable digs and a good mixture of foundation make-up and rouge for the caucasian beauty market. It was all a bit absurd really, but it was an act of exasperation in my then environment. I arrived to the Fotobooth in the busyness of midday and inadvertently had left the coins at the studio and had to , in my new 'look', ask a variety of strangers for change. This was an unexpected action of sorts. Paris is an odd place where having such courage is respected and thus the photo documentation aspect of the work was able to happen. It seemed important to me at the time to create the documentation via this seemingly neutral machine in public space. The mere rock bottom paucity of it's capabilities in comparison to the dirth of highly paid fashion photographers the city of paris offers. This for me was a collaboration of sorts that would ultimately portray a rather complex cultural pathos played out with elements of race and cool.
The originals were sent to the Netherlands for a show organized by Simon Ferdinando at the time and i had them scanned and blown up to distance them from the scale of their source.