It's Like You're Looking At Me
I’ve been a girl in a group for as long as I can remember. From sports teams, to spirit squads, religious communities, and college involvement, I found it easy to exist under a larger governing group mentality. It wasn't until I used photography to frame, select, and conceal information, when I found a sense of control. After recently removing myself from all group involvement I began looking at myself, and the themes I learned within those groups in a more critical way. Often surfacing as lessons of obedience, discipline, and the importance of appearance, I reconstruct these into ways of creating images, and physically manipulating them,
This introduces the psychological remnants of group participation, the idea that members of a crowd are socially and culturally expected to maintain a quality of obedience. How I acted, what I wore, and who I associated with were all aspects others had authority over.
An important part of my process is my digital interaction with existing photographs, the process of removal—removal of the image from its initial context, removal from the way it was originally exhibited, removal of pixels from the chosen photograph.
It is important to note that I am not the creator of many of the images I use, rather, I search for pictures from differing digital homes. Google searches of addresses and ex-boyfriends, as well as the “photos of you” feature on Facebook serve as a bank to collect from. Once in my possession, the original images feel less like a precious photographs and more like mere surfaces to interact with. The original photograph is no longer a personal artifact; but has been reconstructed into an abstracted representation of a more universal experience.
As I examine my own personal history in an investigative way, I challenge the viewer to do the same experientially. Because the final images exist as color fields or gradients, the titles become exceptionally important. By pulling from ones own past the viewer is invited to re-create the image; what it could have been for me, and what it is for them.
McKinna Anderson is a Tampa based artist currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of South Florida. She is creating work that explores group involvement as a conceptual platform for physical applications of abstraction or removal. More of her work is available on her website, mckinnaanderson.com.