Throughout our lives, we are told to be ‘normal,’ to ‘fit in,’ and to ‘tone it down’ when we decide to show our weirdness. As you get older, there is a part of that, that is let go. However, it seems everything we do is filtered. Online, we filter our digital voices in fear that we may come off a certain way. In images, we literally filter them to make ourselves look better, or ‘more ideal’ or perfect. In person, we filter ourselves by being quiet, or maybe just not being ourselves at all, in fear that we may be rejected.
I decided to do a, pretty silly, project on my own. For three hours, I sit down with someone. We drink wine, we talk, and we just hang out. As time goes on, those walls are eventually dropped. Those filters are gone, and it’s just the real person, talking to another real person.
This project isn’t an advocate for alcohol, but it is an advocate for letting someone be who they are, without judgement. I’m pretty weird, I like being weird, I know that some things I do are considered heavily weird, but that’s what I love about me. I started to embrace my ‘flaws’ or my ‘faults’ that society may claim me to have, but I don’t see them as faults… I see them as quirks. I see all of my ‘imperfect’ traits as perfect for me.
This project is a way to see who people really are, who they want to be, and a way to show people that it’s OKAY to be different, it’s OKAY to be weird. What a boring world we would live in if we were all the same.
Statement of Collaboration:
Cut Outs: Jennifer Cantley
Photographs: Ashley Paige Young
Isolation, loneliness, and insecurity is ever-increasing in a world of technology and the constant use of social media interfaces, rather than human contact. An individual’s world is constantly being bombarded with unrealistic social expectation which causes people to try to hide aspects of themselves that society deems as flaws. As we grow, we are told to conform to the constructed normality of the societies we live in, many people, rather than embracing the idiosyncrasies and oddities that make them individuals, will hide behind a facade.
Through technology, social media, and online personas, there is a maze of fabricated realities to maneuver through.These fabrications separate an individual from the world around them. People are filtering themselves, through actual filters and guises of perfection, editing themselves through beauty products and photoshop, leaving an individual to question who they actually are.
This series is a mix of cut paper drawings and photography, all exploring the insecurities individuals feel.We chose to examine what positive human interaction can do to an individual’s personal filters and guises. One artist chose to sit down with young women from her surrounding area for a length of time while playing games, eating, drinking, and talking. These individuals were photographed over the course of these activities. As the subject and artist gained each other’s trust, the comfort level grew and the facades began to lift. The subject was given the opportunity to feel secure and comfortable.
The other artist created barriers that the viewer must physically maneuver around to fully observe the true nature of the subject and seek entrance past the filters they create. Each filter holds the cut out image of flowers that symbolize personality traits that many women project, such as popularity, beauty, youth, and friendliness. We invite the viewer to enjoy the beauty of our constructed facades but also invite you to see beyond them to a glimpse of the beauty of these women once all the obstructions are gone.