Exile: an image of women, women as an image
“Power and pleasure are not irrelevant to each other, they do not turn against each other; they chance each other crossing one another and urge one another.” – Michel Foucalt
The body of work represented by “Exile” is a unique representation of modern women martyrs. It depicts women who lost their identity by becoming sexual objects. It is a study of femininity in crises. The work is based on a unique combination of staged photography and documentary photography.
Each piece corresponds with known iconography or myth in art history. This strategy results in the image of exiled women being projected onto the solid foundation of myth and iconography that exists within art history, creating an intriguing dialogue with great painters and the art history iconography of Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Boticelli.
Sex as a purely physical act disconnects body from spirit and erases self identity. What emerges from this work is that, today, myth and its image can appear in realty only as contradicting itself.
This photographic aesthetic creates a strong photographic identity and a new visual language based on staged photorealism and documentary photography. It is a style that is instantly recognised: the direct sharpness of flash combined with daylight. This is a visual rhetoric typically used to encourage sexual consumption: using this myth with the appearance of these women clearly breaks the myth of fashion’s sexual dictations and reveals it’s cultural cost.
Golda Holterman says:
“I decided it was important for me to look at this community of women of lost identity not as segmented bodies but as whole individuals and icons of reality. I wanted to code the genetics of prostitution. I feel that prostitution is a concept, a cultural legitimate behavior and a common myth that should be reviewed and analyzed.
“Fashion is used as an allegory to obtain power and it can convince us to take part in forced actions that are legitimised in human culture and in western "post – modern" society. This body of work reviles the relations between body, gesture identity and consumption. The body is like an opposition to the sense of detachment and alienation.
“I use real people because reality can not be faked or illustrated. I stage the situation because I am interested in creating an intimate atmosphere that will allow the erased identity to come out and bring back the self awareness. The images are staged in order to bring out the unseen. I use the body as a social text.
“Paintings master this introspection of beauty and psychology. The subjects become figuratively nameless contemporary martyrs. The photograph is intended to place the emphasis on the flesh and blood person using the iconography of art history.
“For me, photography is a medium of observation. Through photography, I create an alternative way to observe that a pattern of myth exists in reality: women as a perishable object of desire. If the viewer can stay with the sense of humanism, I will have achieved my goal.”
Golda Holterman’s inspiration –
Adi Ness, Joel Peter Witkin, Dian Arbus, Weggy, Jeff Wall, Jurgan tellr
And theories –
Michel Foucalt, Susan Sontag, Starkovsky, Rembo, Lakan
Golda Holterman’s Gallery 1839 exhibition