Pictures of Myself When I Think That I Look Good
Anika Yuzak
June 4 — July 2, 2005

Billboard at Main and 1st
Billboard at Pacific Blvd and Quebec St

Picture For Women

Anika Yuzak takes pictures of herself. The pictures detail, in snapshots, moments from her life. Yuzak has taken over 200 photographs in a period of 2 years. The images are intimate and informal; they index a type of rehearsal that occurs behind closed doors like test shots they aspire to a potential or ideal while simultaneously being grounded in the candidness of their reality. Within the privacy of her own space, Yuzak is able in a certain confidence to explore different personas, outfits, postures and looks.

For her exhibition at the Or Gallery, she has selected two of these images to be realized as billboards with the sole curatorial criteria indicated by the work’s title; Pictures of myself when I think that I look good. In one image Yuzak is posing in what appears to be a small kitchen space, with one leg raised up in a short skirt, long boots and purple Lakers t-shirt. The photograph documents the outfit for potential future reference and allows the opportunity to see fixed in print what would be lost in the glimpse of a mirror. This attempt to situate oneself within the hierarchy of all images is a necessary process, one that even if standard norms are rejected must be taken up at some point in normal psychological development. This narcissistic exploration further articulates the heightened state of self-consciousness that the modern subject inherently possesses and the dramatic tendencies of its psychological state. By utilizing the gigantic media format of the billboard Yusak advertises the reversal of the commodification of the personal and private life of the individual. Here the only thing being sold is her curatorial criteria and the gesture of mainstream mimicry, one that demands to “show us reality.” Regardless of the sociological reference in reading these images the viewer might be ultimately confronted by the images uncertainty and resistance to interpretation. This resistance in itself might be seen, temporarily, like an impossible void, one that expresses a desire to exist before being signified.

Presented within the gallery is a video in which Yuzak re-performs a role from the movie, S.F.W., 1994 (So Fucking What?) The movie is about an anti-hero played by Stephen Dorff, who after being taken hostage in a convenience store appears on national television for the 36 days of his imprisonment. Filmed continually by the “terrorists”, Dorff’s character becomes a national celebrity for his nihilistic behavior and apathetic ideology which is summed up in his continual use of the phrase, “so fucking what?” Yuzak uses a small scene in which she crudely cuts herself into the movie, assuming the position of Dorff’s girlfriend. Under the assumption that she could act better than the actress Joey Lauren Adams, Yuzak re-performs the dialogue which is a pathetic argument between the two characters…..view the complete text by Geoffery Farmer

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Or Gallery

555 Hamilton St.
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6B 2R1

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