Stephanie Syjuco. Cargo Cults: Head Bundle. 2013-16

Stephanie Syjuco Cargo Cults: Head Bundle 2013-16

  • Not on view

Syjuco’s work references various forms of studio portraiture, including nineteenth- century ethnographic portraiture by travelers, who captured their subjects in “exotic” dress, and the ubiquitous passport photograph, in which the sitter is expected to pose, unsmiling, with their facial features unobstructed. Syjuco simultaneously exposes and thwarts the standards of these sub-genres. In the Cargo Cults portraits, the sitter (the artist herself) wears costumes that were assembled from garments and other objects purchased at big-box stores in American shopping malls and styled to evoke ideas of “ethnic” patterns and styles. Syjuco also makes it difficult to locate a singular subject in each portrait through her use of patterns, which shift attention from foreground to background, and through the presence of calibration charts, which slyly offer a “standard” against which the central figure might be measured.

Gallery label from Being: New Photography, 2018
Medium
Pigmented inkjet print
Dimensions
40 × 30" (101.6 × 76.2 cm)
Credit
Fund for the Twenty-First Century
Object number
1109.2018
Copyright
© 2020 Stephanie Syjuco. Courtesy of the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco
Department
Photography
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