Continuing the theme of self-portrait photography using props and performance we move from the work of Jonny Lyons to that of Oana Stanciu, a Romanian artist, now living in Edinburgh. Oana took part in our 2019 show ‘Sometimes I Disappear’ (alongside, Zanele Muholi, Cindy Sherman and Francesca Woodman) an exhibition which looked at the work of four photographers using self-portraiture to both confront, and yet avoid, the viewer's gaze.
It is a beguiling contradiction in which the self becomes both subject and object; simultaneously revealed and concealed; exposed, and yet distanced by the artifice of props and costume. The title of the show was borrowed from Cindy Sherman’s comment on her own work: “I feel I’m anonymous in my work. When I look at the pictures, I never see myself; they aren’t self-portraits. Sometimes I disappear.” This description could easily have been describing Oana Stanciu’s uncomfortable domestic tableaux in which the artist experiments with her body and everyday objects, bending and stretching herself into poses that occupy space with the self-awareness and control of a dancer.