Since she first picked up a camera as an adolescent, Talia Chetrit has explored the power dynamics, narrative conceits, and material manipulations at the heart of photography.
In images that seem to embrace the principles of straight photography, she offers clues to the formal devices and content selections that lend photographs personal meaning and social currency. Pictures of carefully composed still-lifes and encased cultural artifacts draw attention to the effects of framing and environmental context. Images taken when she was a teen, now reconceptualized as part of Chetrit’s mature practice, reveal early, playful experiments in the construction of identity before a camera. In a complimentary gesture, video works capture the role-playing we are socialized to perform when aware of a lens. Recent self-portraits collapse distinctions between object, subject, and viewer, shedding light on the power typically ascribed to these roles. Together, Chetrit’s photographs highlight the near impossibility of creating a photograph uninflected by an individual’s agenda and experience.