Sophie Tianxin Chen | I, etcetera

By 5 gennaio 2017 Webzine No Comments

I, etcetera

To make photographs I have placed a button in my belly button; sandwiched shoes between pairs of socks; and thrown a drowned water bird into a hole. Performance, staging, and a large format camera are the tools I use to create images. In my work I confront significant personal experiences. I turn emotions from the experience into ideas rather than documenting the real event itself. Choosing not to document I instead re­stage scenes by combining reality with artificial props and simulated effects.

Although highly constructed, my practice does not stem from a studio setting, it begins with observations made in the simplest domestic environment. The process of composing the image blurs distinctions between the literal and the metaphorical, allowing me to delight in the absurdity of disorientation.

It often appears to me that when something is forced upon us as solely literal often loses its power to effect. Influenced by films and music, I understand the importance of triggering an affect. I am interested in presenting an image through artifice, which allows me to distance and depersonalize myself from the experience to pursue an allegorical method of revealing.

I, etcetera was made in Los Angeles while becoming an American Citizen. After 10 years of living outside of my original country of birth including 5 years of dealing with the immigration services, I was left in an awkward in­between space of not knowing how to identify myself politically or culturally. Embarrassed often by the vagueness of my understanding to almost everything, I took this ‘lack’ and disorientation as inspiration for making images.