Since the invention of photography, our expression toward art has expanded. People used photography not only to document the observed but also as a tool to express their fantasy, desire and ideas, which don’t exist in reality. In order to create those works, artist’s commonly use aspects of theater, which include, drama, character, costume, gesture of character, songs, story and empathy from viewers. These represent crucial devices, which control perceptions and are often based on stereotypes.In the music video, Ignorant Oil (2009), Kalup Linzy attracted viewers by his presentation of himself as a melodramatic diva who is reflective of popular culture. Linzy successfully created a theater that is not only about costume and appearance but, which also brings drama and a storyline to his performance.
This exhibition focuses on the artists who utilize both theatrical effects and the viewers perception as tools to lead the viewers from nineteenth century to today.
Sara Bernhardt, the most famous and fashionable stage actress during nineteenth century, played various dramatic roles including Queen Elizabeth, Hamlet and Cleopatora. In addition to her talent as an actress, Bernhardt attracted audiences with her appearance in different costumes and characters on each performance on the stage as depicted on this piece.
Sawada, a Japanese photographer takes self-portrait in variety costumes and presents her self as different characters in the photographs. In this photograph, Sawada dresses up in fashion that is poplar among Japanese teen age girls and pose stereotypical manner that young girls often do in their photograph. She find her possibilities to create a fantasy in the photographs which does not exist in reality by changing her appearance. Sawada describe “ My appearance could be change easily but not my personality” she fascinates the viewers with all characters she performes and made us fantasize about the personality in the photographs.
In this comedy music video, Sullivan played multi characters. Sullivan sings a song as the main character, Kelly in the video, a stereotypical defiant American teenage girl. Being played a stereotypical character comically by opposite genders based on their observation emphasize on specific age gender’s stereotype idea in the society and transform to a comment from third person. Sullivan’s monotone emotionless vocal on its simple beat, girls’ wild and obsessive shoes shopping scene is ridiculous and humorous. Because of those combination plus video’s accessibility reflects all elements of today’s materialistic poplar culture.
Man Ray photographed Marcel Duchamp as Duchamp’s female alter ego Rrose Selavy. Like Sawada used specific pose in her photograph, Duchamp gently holds the scurf with his left hand emphasizes his fingers, which suggests femininity. In doing this, Duchamp as s male mimics feminine expression and plays with the notion of his female alter ego.
Cahun challenged the traditional notion of gender identity by presenting herself with a shaved head and by wearing male clothes. Her standing pose with her fist clenched and witha serious facial expression removes her femininity. She succeeded to create a new reality or imagined self by taking on the traditional perception of the male role.
In order to create sexual fantasy in my art, I decided to become a male which lead sexual fantasy in stereotypical manner in the photograph. As Linzy invited and seduced viewers to his sexual fantasy in opposite gender, I explored my sexual fiction as opposite gender. In order to create the fantasy, I adapted standing pose of Ewan McGregor from the movie poster of “Trainspotting”(1996) , with boots on to emphasize the stereotypical western male. Moreover, I situated my self in the space with art objects to give an impression of traditional male nude model in western art history. My intention is to create a sexual fantasy that suggest unclear gender based on the body and stereotypical pose.
Rejlander, a Swedish-born photographer studied painting and lithography in Rome. He created a narrative scene which he inspired by late Renaissance art and contemporary cartoons from the newspaper. The small human figures in front and the reclining man makes viewers imagine what the man is dreaming about. Moreover, because of this reclining man’s gestures of his closed eyes and the placement of his hand suggests to viewers an erotic narrative, which brings to the photographs story of more than just man sleeping.
This is detail from a stereograph which was a popular form of image in the late 19 century. The viewer used a hand held device into which a sequence of stereographic cards would be inserted. Each card contained two images, which would be viewed at the same time, giving the effect of a three dimensional picture. The images were often a narrative focusing on humorous domestic situations.. In Mr. and Mrs. Turtledove New French Cook the Raw created a scene of Mr. Turtledove’s flirtation toward his new young female cook. When Mrs. Turtledove found out about them, she asked the cook to leave and hire an older cook as a form of revenge and jelously. The use of the Stereograph, which was a popular format of the time and the common themes easily drew viewers into the storyline.
In this work, Day depicted him self as Jesus with a scene of the Crucifixtion. He made a sequence of his head shots with facial expression. By presenting the suffering in sequence, viewers can imagine the scenes more realistically than from a single image or painting. Day’s performance, brings the viewer to a level of empathy on the suffering of others.
In this video clip, Blige sings about love she does not want to lose, and the feeling she wants man to understand. The video shows a pain be in love and its merodrama between man and woman with her emotional performance followed by her ecstatic vocal. The depiction of passion and pain in this music video connects those of Day’s Crucifixion, so does Linzy’s music video.