MANIERA

In the Maniera collection, I physically tied masks onto models, who were then photographed using a film camera.  Some masks came from Northern Renaissance Maniera paintings of Venuses and witches; other masks, from Rococo sculptures of gods and beasts.  The activity of producing the film negatives was surprisingly difficult, requiring models to hold their poses for a long time while the placement of masks was adjusted millimeter by millimeter so to line up with the perspective of the camera.  This created an intimacy between the models and me that was both awkward and deepening, foregrounding the trust required in modeling situations.  A further element of surprise arrived when examining the negatives.  The same face-mask changed its interpretable sense based on the position and gender of the modeling body, and this result captivated me for what it suggests about the relationship between face and body and articulation of meaning: Our bodies might be the more powerful signifiers of our interior selves, rather than the faces we have fetishized as being the markers of individuality.