Exhibition: Secrets and Lies
Secrets and Lies is an exhibition exploring the idea of individuality, formed from both the creative outlook and theoretical perspective. Hosted at the Doomed gallery, Secrets and Lies brings together a collection of works from students at the BA Media & Cultural Studies course at the London College of Communication.
A collection of imaginative, personal and intriguing works cover the walls of the Doomed gallery, with three video pieces playing in the centre. Everything from religion, sexual performance and architecture is brought together to illustrate the various areas of secret and lies.
The most eye-catching was the work of Latisha Berker-Boyd, a collection of nude selfies inspired by the digital age and the self-expression through sexuality. Entitled ‘The theory of nude’, featuring several photos of naked bodies (with some found through Facebook) seeks sexual empowerment for men and women, encouraging the embracement of bodies without shame. Latisha explained the sensitivity and vulnerability men face when displaying their figure, whilst women seemed more comfortable expressing their sexuality and showing their body.
‘Illkbal Rahim’ explores the media cliché created about Islam and women.
Featuring six face portraits of the same women and her framed wedding vows, the portraits represent a mirror reflection of the women’s thoughts. Artist Gizem Kaya explains “She often gets stared at because she looks extreme and wants a platform where she can stare back because she feels uncomfortable, and through photography she feels empowered.” The wearing of her headscarf in two different styles symbolised the contrasting connotations; the loosely fitted style is typical to a lot of Muslim women and most comfortable with the westernised world, whilst the tightly wrapped style is what the media portray as extremist, encouraging uneasiness and discomfort.
Favourite among viewers was Heidi Agyapong’s art work ‘Strangers?’
Heidi had captured 28 strangers in Polaroid photos and asked for a single word to describe their character. The photos created a sense of intimacy and closeness, giving viewers a snapshot of the individuals. Heidi explains “I wanted to challenge the idea of strangers, we pass by people every day and we pretend like they don’t exist. I used a Polaroid camera because I wanted to capture the person in that particular moment without editing or posing. Also Polaroid photos are so small you have to get close to fully capture the person and it’s the same with getting to know a stranger. I did it over a couple days because it can be quite difficult photographing people. The photos come from all over London.”
‘Vertical landscapes’ features a lady walking up high rise buildings. ‘Vertical landscapes’ explores space restricted due to physics, as Lilian comments “It’s a surrealist piece that puts skyscraper buildings into a landscape perspective. Looking at busy cities, everything on the ground is so commercial and tight, there’s not much space but we forget about the usage of buildings which can be explored. The reason why it’s black and white is to bring out the detail of the buildings architecture which is often forgotten.”
Playing in the middle of the gallery was ‘Secrets of our journey’ by Maria-Louisa Harrison. The video featured a voice-over of Maria, speaking on the journey of life as the video footage plays a continuous of sequence of train tracks. Maria explains “It’s about the sequence of life, in conception our parents usually don’t know they’ve created a baby until the women misses her period or has morning sickness. Life has so many secrets and each day at a time, we unravel these secrets but the biggest secret we can’t unravel is death. Religion teaches us there is life after death whilst with atheism you cease to exist. The train tracks represent the journey of life because there continuous and you don’t know when it will end. I used a train because it’s fast moving and even when we die, life and time still continues.”
Providing a personal touch to the exhibition, Isabel Fernando’s ‘Space’ examined the idea of areas within home settings and its relationship to the family, the 10 pictures explored the usage of space by Isabel’s mother and sisters. “I wanted to focus on the private, domestic space within your home and how your surroundings define your identity. The images include my sisters occupying their own private space within the room but at the same time, it’s tight because there are so many people in the house. I thought it was interesting how space represents identity. For example in this photo two of my sisters are doing their homework but the older one is on the bed and my younger sister is on the floor, this represents an age hierarchy. Also most of the photos feature my little sister who goes to various spaces, showing she doesn’t have a space of her own and in the last photo, she falls asleep, so there is a narrative.”
See more work from Secrets and Lies below. All images below by Lilian von Keller.