Vivian FuCheyenne and Eleanor (2014)

Independent of my projections on it, this is absolutely wonderful. There’s room for commentary on the way the use of color diverges from Fu’s usual and edges towards the surreal suffusion that have become Sophia’s hallmark. Also, the juxtaposition between the intentionality of the framing–how the top edge of the wainscoting aligns so perfectly with the lower left corner of the frame; and the immediacy represented in the off kilter vertical alignment between door jamb and right frame edge. (This of course echoes the staged/unstaged tension of the image.)

All blasted phenomenal, really. Still what gets to me is they way this image immediately linked arms in my mind with a self-portrait of Catalan feminist pornographer Maria Llopis.

I’m not entirely convinced I can explain the why beyond a general opposition: concerns over portrayal (Fu) vs. art as a process of secondary documentation with regards to radical self-actualization (Llopis). Both have their merits, purpose and place. Both are without question doing the Lord’s work… but I can’t help questioning–not to in so doing place an undue burden on young shoulders–but what I’ve seen thus far of Sophia’s work manages to walk a razor’s edge between performance and academnified activism by firmly anchoring the work in lived experience. If there’s a way to split the difference, I think she might be just the artist to manage it.

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