In the manner of the German photographer August Sander, I sought
out and photographed a range of South African vocational archetypes:
the builder, the mechanic, the petrol attendant, the nurse, the airline
steward, the suburban security guard.
Complicating these unceremonious portraits I inserted
myself into every frame, inhabiting – quite literally –
the dress (clothes, shoes, jewellery, spectacles) of my subjects,
who in turn wore my clothes and took my picture.
The process involved taking a portrait of the sitter and then inverting the roles
by changing clothes with the sitter and he/ she would take the portait of me performing
their role. In doing so I was attempting to challenge the signs of identity
construction through photography, as well as, interrogating the intense yet fleeting
relationship between sitter and photographer.
exhibitions and exposure
In 2006 the work was awarded a distinction as a masters of fine
art submission at Rhodes University.
Art South Africa featured the work, which can be viewed at http://www.artsouthafrica.com/?article=38
Subsequently I was voted as the Brightest Young Artist for 2007 (Art
South Africa Magazine v5.3).
The show travelled South Africa and was shown as a solo show at
the Market Photography Workshop, Johannesburg as well as the Bell
Roberts Gallery, Cape Town.
Maureen De Jager, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Rhodes Universtiy,
has written and presented a seminar paper entitled The Cameras
Lies: Role-Playing, Posing and imposture in the Self Portrait Photography
of Monique Pelser and Samuel Fosso.