NARRATOR: Curator Eva Respini
EVA RESPINI: What you see presented here are a variety of female characters that refer to the head-shot. They look like actors that are auditioning for a job. You see the aging beauty queen, the old hippie, the tough girl on the corner.
These women seem to be holding onto an idea of youth. There's a kind of fragility to these characters. There’s quite a bit of empathy in these photographs. They're not just a callous caricature of a certain type of woman. But in fact, show a more nuanced view into the process of aging.
These photographs also refer to the standard portrait studio. They're presented very straightforward just a character sitting and looking straight into the camera. They evoke, perhaps, photographs that one might have taken in the portrait studio, at Sears.
And I think this body of work really reflects on the nature of portraiture, but really the history of portrait photography.
These photographs were first shown in 2000 in Beverly Hills, around the time of the Oscars. So the referent to film and the cycle of desire and failed ambition that permeates Hollywood were very much at the heart of this body of work.