2 April – 27 April 2014

Cherine Fahd

Plinth Piece

The first photographs I made in 1999 were simple documents, portraits of family and friends with white plaster dribbling and encasing their noses. The photographs in Operation nose nose operation (1999-2000) made possible what was sculpturally not; the portraits confused reality and in doing so confused the role of the apparent photographic document. The images initially served as documentation of a process, creating an inventory of people who participated in having their nose cast in plater. The noses however, never saw the light of day and the portraits succeeded them by recording a moment that appeared nonsensical. Cause for the plaster appendage was not clear and in the absence of clarification the portraits were lent the surrealist strategy of bending reality (something the residual sculptural artifacts lacked).

Plinth Piece (2014) charts a similar path by documenting studies of figurative sculptures. They recall Eleanor Antin’s Carving a Traditional Sculpture (1972), where Antin stood before the camera to perform herself as sculpture. By documenting her body front, back and side over several weeks she recorded her ensuing weight loss as a means of ‘sculpting’ the body. Inspired by this work, I have adopted a rather different method. Using photomontage techniques along with brightly coloured children’s play dough I have created a façade to reimagine the body as overwhelming flesh. Plinth Piece reverses Antin’s efforts of shrinking the body through weight loss by instead creating another layer – a body encrusted and simulated.

Like the camera, the plinth acts as an objectifying tool – as soon as I stand on it I pose, performing the self as artwork. Unlike Antin’s ‘straightforward’ documents, the images in Plinth Piece deliberately exploit such methodology aiming to impersonate the document, fabricate its form and stage documentation.

Photos: Docqment