Talia Chetrit
Kaufmann Repetto, Milan, Italy
November 18 - January 14 2017

 

The exhibition is comprised of new works and a small selection from the artist’s archive. Chetrit re-contextualizes these past works by combining them with recent images, bringing into focus certain subject matters that remain consistently considered throughout yet stand subject to continued reinvention by the artist. 

In Chetrit’s photographs, themes of power and control are personified by the inherent employment of the camera’s shutter. The artist uses her own self, as well as both consenting and unsuspecting subjects, to explore the complex dynamics that develop on either side of the lens. Her invitation for the viewer’s participation in personal and intimate moments, like in Untitled (Kiss), is countered by that very decision to make the private public. Through a closer consideration of Chetrit’s past and present photographic series, viewers may recognize an ongoing push and pull of her own intentional vulnerability. Chetrit’s fervent focus on sexuality brings an attention to the rigid innuendos of intimacy by challenging the viewer’s perceptions of pornography, voyeurism and objectification. 

Within this exhibition Chetrit includes a wide variety of images, among which she combines a number of self-portraits alongside photographs of pre-teen girls. This combination suggests a universal understanding of maturation and its inherent permutations of sexuality. In Ever (Swing) and Daphne (Foot) the youthful subjects speak to the transitional affects of independence versus adolescence. Their discreet sensuality is indicative of our own postulations. Still-lives of everyday objects become equally subject to our own suggestive perspectives. 

This relationship is expounded through works like Hand Shadow and Plastic Nude. Both images portray the female figure in paralleled poses with legs splayed towards the viewer. The first, an allusion to our enigmatic gravitation towards girlhood; the latter, a self-portrait in which the artist has positioned herself at once fully nude and fully covered, dressed in a transparent, plastic suit. This dichotomy becomes demonstrative of the autonomy of the female nude and its innate irreducibility. 

It is through this resurfacing and reinvestigation, that we are able to gather Chetrit’s ongoing interest in the staged versus the candid as a mirror of our own circuitous relationship with external influence and provocation.  As Sahra Motalebi wrote in her essay accompanying Chetrit’s exhibition in New York earlier this fall, “It is through these openings that we see the artist repeatedly demonstrating her submission to her own process as an act of authorial agency.”