Webcam icons - a new collection
Updated: Sep 6, 2020
The series was inspired by a selection of famous 20th century nude photography works, which progressively featured more in the way of female agency in their subjects. The addition of webcam in the re-enactments questions whether female liberation has continued in the 21st century.
The work references an iconic photograph by Edward Weston [Nude (Charis, Santa Monica), 1936]. The addition of the webcam stands for contemporary issues concerning the representation of the idealised female nude in Western art.
Inspired by Bill Brandt's iconic 1951 photograph 'Nude, Belgravia, London, 1951,' the work interrogates its maker and its viewer with a 21st century question. Can a contemporary art nude be about historic symbols, such as beauty, liberation and empowerment, or does it demean and exploit its subject? The model’s legs stand pars pro toto for the nude canon, and the webcam stands for the prying eyes of 21st century culture.
This is a response to a well-known photograph by Steven Meisel Studio of American singer Madonna, which appeared in her controversial 1992 book 'Sex.' Madonna was reportedly strongly invested in the book's conceptualisation. The book is today widely regarded as a defining phase in the singer's career and for its post-feminist impact on society and culture. While opinion is divided, the book could be read as a manifesto for women's sexual liberation and empowerment. The webcam questions whether that has that continued in the 21st century.