Opening Friday, September 19th, 2014 7-9pm
99 Cent Plus is pleased to present "This Kind of Face", a solo exhibition of videos and a book by Los Angeles-based artist Siri Kaur.
Self is something that is neither defined solely by internal, nor external criteria; it is a compromise between an exterior set of conditions, and base desire. Impersonators offer an exaggerated instance of this schism, representing conflict on the surface of their bodies in the uncomfortable conflation of their everyday existence with the aggrandized construction they attempt to embody. When we get dressed in the morning, and consider our appearance, we are participating in a similar negotiation with a multitude of spectators, a similar performance of the idea of ourselves.
The impersonators have constructed a very specific likeness they want to project: their own image conflated with the ideal they are emulating. Part of my function as photographer is to facilitate the sitter’s desire. The resulting pictures reveal the trace of this social negotiation, between my idea of how someone should appear and the way they see themselves. In these video portraits, I asked the subjects to sit still and look at the camera for ten minutes. Cracks appear in the performance. Perhaps this is why there is a sense of transgression in looking at images of impersonators, a certain embarrassment, as though the fragility of our own ego is revealed by their performance.
You know, I’d like to thank the whole world. I love America. It’s been really good to me, man. It’s been a long way from the boys’ homes in Brooklyn, New York and the streets, running around, being in the gangs, learning how to be a warlord and a mean sonofabitch […] It’s been a long, long way. And the only thing that saved me from drug addiction and alcohol and allows me to be here now is having this kind of face. How the heck did I know I was gonna look like the man, Jack?
-Joe Richards, Jack Nicholson Impersonator