Kelli Connell – Convertible Kiss (2002)

Honestly, I am too profoundly moved by this body of work to offer any sort of worthwhile commentary–it’s just effing exquisitely devastating.

So beyond begging you to spend some time with this work, I’m going to let the artist speak in her own words:

These images were created from scanning and manipulating
two or more negatives in Adobe Photoshop.  Using the computer as a tool
to create a “believable” situation is not that different from accepting
any photograph as an object of truth, or by creating a story about two
people seen laughing, making-out, or quarreling in a restaurant. These
photographs reconstruct the private relationships that I have
experienced personally, witnessed in public, or watched on television.  
The events portrayed in these photographs look believable, yet have
never occurred.  By digitally creating a photograph that is a composite
of multiple negatives of the same model in one setting, the self is
exposed as not a solidified being in reality, but as a representation of
social and interior investigations that happen within the mind.

This work represents an autobiographical questioning of sexuality and
gender roles that shape the identity of  the self in intimate
relationships. Polarities of identity such as the masculine and feminine
psyche, the irrational and rational self, the exterior and interior
self, the motivated and resigned self are portrayed.  By combining
multiple photographic negatives of the same model in each image, the
dualities of the self are defined by body language and clothing worn.
This work is an honest representation of the duality or multiplicity of
the self in regards to decisions about intimate relationships, family,
belief systems and lifestyle options.

The importance of these images lies in the representation of interior
dilemmas portrayed as an external object – a photograph.  Through these
images the audience is presented with “constructed realities”.  I am
interested in not only what the subject matter says about myself, but
also what the viewers response to these images says about their own
identities and social constructs.

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