The Center for Art and Thought often has online exhibits and dialogues by brilliant artists, and on a recent visit to the site, I found the work of Laura Swanson. Her work is a thought-provoking engagement with the conventions of portraiture, the negotiation of the gaze and the body, and more recent genres of photography such as the selfie. We will look at a few of her photographs when we discuss women’s experimental photography in the coming weeks.
From her artist statement:
“Much of her work questions the dominant cultural bias toward the sameness, size, and symmetry of things, especially people. Swanson often references the seemingly theatrical spectacle of her short statured body situated next to her six-foot-tall husband. Compelled to remove their bodies from objectification, she anthropomorphizes ready-made objects and deconstructs conventional portraiture to simultaneously create an image of solidarity and to examine the desire to look at physical difference. The safe-guarding of individual agency is asserted in a series of self-portraits, where she conceals her identity, and with fantastical dwelling spaces, which provide refuge to read critical theory in pursuit of intellectual liberation.”