Â© Alison Jackson
In her recent book of photographs, ” Confidential “,Alison Jackson has created a new reality. One based on perceived truth and, perhaps, our deep suspicions. Celebrities are revealed in situations that you may have suspected, or are relieved to know, as you see what does go on behind closed doors.
But the people in the photographs are not who you think they are.
Ms. Jackson has cast an incredible array of look-alikes, and thanks to a style of shooting, you are made to become more than a voyeur into another reality. You are almost a peeping tom. The grain, out of focus foreground elements suggesting a hidden camera or one posted in the bushes.
Yes, there is a strange sense of discomfort, but you are drawn in. And have been let into one of the biggest jokes. Guilty pleasures as our society is obsessed with celebrity, she turns the mirror to us, and has a great laugh at the same time.
These re-defined perceptions must be appreciated for the brilliance behind the design and execution of this series.
Powerful images dominate the world. Pictures of celebrities who have reached the status of icons or demons. They are news – whether they are the Royal Family, Madonna, Posh and Becks or Britney Spears. This news becomes intrigue; it becomes difficult to differentiate between what is real and what is fantasy, what is important and what is not.
Â© Alison Jackson
These celebrities are the icons of this contemporary folk religion. The pictures we have of them correspond to the religious pictures of the past. We find ourselves believing that what these pictures portray, really is the whole ‘truth’ about the subject. For example, Marilyn Monroe is just a sex goddess; Britney Spears is white trash; Camilla is usually portrayed with a touch of the wicked old witch and so on.
The question is: How limited a picture do we receive of these icons? We suspect there is much more than we are told or read about. So our imaginations get to work to compensate for our lack of real information. Thus we are continually being seduced away from the ‘truth’ into a world which has no ‘real’ grounds of integrity and authenticity. At best, a photograph of a celebrity reproduces something authentic only at the very moment the shutter clicks. We have been teased and seduced into giving tiny fragments of ‘reality’ an absolute authenticity. Images are by nature titillating and ‘of fantasy’ , aiding this process. The photograph has become more real than the real.
This work is about simulation. Creating a clone or a copy of the ‘real’ on paper. It is not a fake, it takes the place of the ‘real’ for a moment, whilst looking at the image. The aim is to create likenesses of icons, where in the image, the simulations of icons, ‘threatens the difference between ‘true’ and ‘false, between ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’. The ‘real’ subject becomes not necessary. The photographic image or the icon is more important and more seductive. It doesn’t matter to the viewer if the portrayal is not the ‘real’ – as long as it looks like him or her – it creates a temporary confusion. This is the confusion the work searches to create. We think we are looking at something real, but we’re not. They are false images of look-alikes of the real thing.
Nevertheless, the photograph is authentic one sense, Jane Smith and Jo Bloggs really exist as look-alikes within the image, but they portray a false picture of perception. The photographs reflect what really exists in the public imagination. They highlight the difference between what we see and what we imagine. This is bound up in our inherent greedy voyeurism and our need to believe.”
This week we have signed copy of her book, “Confidential” for you.
Well , ONE of you anyway. She signed this book knowing one of you would be getting this, so you get a message too.
How does the weekly giveaway work?
First of all, make sure you are signed up for the NEWSLETTER. If you are signed up for the NEWSLETTER, you are automatically eligible to enter the giveaway.
Here are the details:
On Weds, you will receive an email sometime that day,depending on your time zone. (9:00 AM PST)
When it gets there, read the email and click the links for what’s on photoinduced.com (a recap and new news from the site).Then hit reply, delete the body of the email (saving server space) and then put the special giveaway word, found only in the NEWSLETTER, into the subject line, add a shipping address, think about your own personal fame and the photos you have out there in the world, and hit send. The 21st person to respond will be sent this very cool book. for free. no charge. gratis.AND WE SHIP ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!
And if you are in Los Angeles in the near future, there will be an exhibit of her work at:
612 NORTH ALMONT DRIVE
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90069
TEL 310 550 0050
DECEMBER 15, 2007 – JANUARY 2008