Sign Language by Margeaux Walter
Sign Language is a series of large-scale photographs that collapse everyday life into a form of abstraction. These images and most of my work are centered around the fragility of identity, and the role that photography plays in our ability to remember and create a self-image. I choose photography and video as a means of understanding and reckoning with a world flooded with images. Embedded in the photographs is a level of anxiety around being seen, or a fear of disappearing that has been enhanced by technological accessibility, consumer culture and the constant absorption of images. In questioning how we decipher the world, absorb influences and reveal ourselves, I create images where identity is increasingly in flux – varyingly disappearing, fracturing, or grossly accumulating.
For each of these works, I built a life size set in my studio and photographed it overhead, performing each character and blending in through assorted guises. Each image is a physical scene that is then deconstructed through color and pattern into varying levels of chaos and order, obscuring the identities of the figures within them. In these photographs, I seek to form a dialogue with modernist painting – to flatten space, camouflage elements, and transform daily routines and moments into abstract shapes. Using staged environments, studio lighting, and saturated color, I reference familiar visual cues of advertising that are embedded in our collective unconscious. All of the images involve simulated spaces, often domestic ones, alluding to Jung’s idea that one’s house is a representation of their psyche. In this context, I intend my constructed spaces to form a contemporary dialogue around identity within a consumer society.
Margeaux Walter lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
To view more of Margeaux's work, please visit her website.