Untitled Heads is a series of silhouette profiles of women made from photograms where an individual's physical presence is directly recorded on photographic paper upon exposure to light. This project continues my interest in the process of reading visual images as well as the relationship between the body and identity.
Historically, photography has been used to exoticize, categorize, and to objectify various groups of people, especially in the images of women, minorities, and foreigners. As a means of surveillance, appropriation, and control, photographic images were made for the spectator's consumption as well as for the satisfaction of the photographer's voyeuristic desire. Unlike traditional portraits, however, these silhouette images are marked by absence, lacking descriptive elements such as texture, color, and dimension. The notion that a photograph reveals some kind of truth about a subject is contradicted by the emptiness of the silhouetted image.
When grouped together as a series, these silhouettes emphasize the differences among the individuals, offering details that give clues as to the sitter's gender, race, and age. However, these differences are also the product of the viewer's interpretation and imagination; in the process of attaching meaning to the shadow images, the viewer becomes more conscious of their system of visual language and becomes responsible for what they know and understand.
1993-95, 11”x14” gelatin silver prints