You Look Like an Advert for Yourself
Vanessa Gravenor - Indrani Ashe
OPENING RECEPTION: February 24th 2017 7PM
We sell our bodies via self-branding on Tinder, Facebook, Instagram, and blogs: our identities are porous and morph to fit the given situation. Society tells us we should exploit these gender categories as the major business corporation of US-R-US, joining the ranks of the dispossessed Tinder -bots. We have the sense that we need to counter this army like dogma, although it permeates everything we know of, making it hard to think of an alternative. Our sentimentality contributes to a growing risk of entrapment in a world of creative precarity, losing the possibility of progress in the fight for recognition.
You look Like an Advert for Yourself, a satirical and yet sentimental take upon economies of emotional relation, is an exhibition of works by Indrani Ashe and Vanessa Gravenor that takes its name from a chapter of Nina Power’s book The One Dimensional Woman. Like its signifier, it is a feminist critique on the emotional labors and gender relations of our time by using post-internet and post-consumerist aesthetics, meme images, and vapid characteristics, to comment on how these very aesthetics are new essentializing forces. Working across photography, video, text, and performance, both artists envision their works as heuristic takes on feminism.
FiftyDatesofGrey.com follows Indrani on fifty Tinder dates in London and Berlin, correlating romantic tribulation with economic and geographic precarity. It uses the form of the confessional to detail traumatic experiences of the industrialization of love and emotion, which the artist herself encountered on her quest to infiltrate circles of social privilege and create new possibilities for human connection. Vanessa Gravenor’s series Odalisque Beauty Ass on Young-Girl/Sick-Woman theory follows a similar approach but through a different aesthetic means. Through writing and medium format photography, Gravenor attempts to reprocess images such as the Odalisque or Charcot’s hysteric in order to co-opt these forms and reach a type of jouissance. The artist has asked her friends to re-enact different poses, yet change and bastardize them. A text on the work situated the series in media theory accompanies the series.