Last Saturday night, I swept my eyes from left to right, then back again, over photographer Denise Prince's four pieces at CentralTrak as if I was flipping through pages in a magazine. On another wall, there was a bigger neon display, its bold blues and pinks distracting you from the bigger picture: In one corner, there is an impossibly polished model, and in the other, you are looking at a dead woman.
Who's on first: Artist (left) and analyst at CentralTrak
Over the last few years, Prince, who grew up in Dallas, has been recreating images from a 2009 Missoni ad campaign, called Replication and Breakdown of the Missoni Estate Line Catalog. She assigned the model roles to women and men who'd experienced physical trauma or deformity. In the above case, she photographed a recently deceased woman in India and juxtaposed her with the ad's original model.
The pieces were part of CentralTrak's current That Mortal Coil exhibit, which focuses on more radical depictions of the body and contemporary beauty and fashion. Her models were there among Ari Richter's heavily contested "Wolf Dong," R.E. Cox's architecturally precarious prosthetic leg sculptures, and Nina Schwanse's "Squirting" video series. It was a lot to take in.
Which is why I was so excited to know Prince's work would be psychoanalyzed by Dr. Charles Merward, her L.A.-based shrink, at CentralTrak a few days later, during a talk called "Not on Speaking Terms."More »