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'The view of reality, as an exotic prize to be tracked down and captured by the diligent hunter-with-a-camera has informed photography from the beginning, and marks the confluence of the Surrealist counter-culture and middle-class social adventurism. Photography has always been fascinated by social heights and lower depths. [...]For more than a century, photographers have been hovering about the oppressed, in attendance at scenes of violence - with spectacularly good conscience. Social misery has inspired the comfortably-off with the urge to take pictures, the gentlest of predations, in order to document a hidden reality, that is, a reality hidden from them.'
- Susan Sontag, on Photography.
This publication is a play on the white gaze, decentering it. Fitting inside the reader’s palm, the people captured on the page cannot return the onlooker’s gaze. They all appear to stare inward, they are edited and placed in a manner where they are looking at the spine of the book, or each other. Until they slowly turn toward the beholder to confront their stare. Yet, this confrontation remains unbalanced as they can’t escape the literal hold of the viewer.
Under “No Name Girl”, artist and curator Amandine Vabre Chau explores heritage, culture, migration and memory through photography and zine-making. Also operating under the name “KWONG”, she cross-examines these identity structures as a way to create new pathways of understanding. She’s interested in broadening experiences of collaboration, care and community building. She translates the need to celebrate one’s history through an introspective examination of the “self” : What does it mean to be both a descendent, and therefore a receiver of knowledge, and an active participant in one’s story ? As identity is moving, shifting, she aspires to delve into inconsistency and instability by presenting her work as open-questions instead of answers.
Published by No Name Girl
60 x 60mm