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Born in Minneapolis, Laura Swanson is now based in Providence, Rhode Island. Her photo series “splices”, “canonical portraits”, “deformities”, “embarrassments”, “sitcoms & romcoms” and “anti-self portraits” are very interesting conceptual experiments which trigger the viewer’s eye by setting humanist questions.
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More particularly, the artist’s statement about the “Anti-Self-Portraits (2005-2008)”: Part biography, these images represent my discomfort with being looked at and wishing I could hide. Part fantasy, these images position the viewer as the perpetrator of an invasion of privacy. The psychological play between the viewer and myself is what I am most interested in - I am drawing attention to the fact that I am denying something from the viewer. Am I reproaching the viewer's gaze? Or am I simply acknowledging the moment of recognition? The idea of hiding to acknowledge the act of looking is fascinating to me. The concealment of my face is also important to the depersonalization of the exchange. By removing identity and having the shape of my body stand in for the idea of difference, there is more room for thoughts about how one looks at another. The exchange is not just about me and the viewer anymore - it has the opportunity to open up into a broader conversation about how difference is looked at”.
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