We are free. Each time we will be freer to design our bodies: today plastic surgery, tomorrow genetics will make and continue making all dreams real. Who dreams in these dreams? The culture dreams, icons of our culture dream us. We are freely dreamed by covers of magazines, billboards, fashion: each one of us finds a thread that promises to conduce us to something deeply personal, in a net woven by absolutely ordinary desires.
– Beatriz Sarlo, Scenes from Posmodern Life, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001
As Jean Kilbourne says in Killing Us Softly, “Publicity sells much more than the products they offer, they sell: values, images, concepts of beauty, love and sexuality, but above all, concepts of ‘normalcy’.” Even when ads only expect to seduce us for an instant, after exposure their images will be remembered for a longer time; contributing to a mental feeding of enormous influence we are not always aware of. In a group, these ads constitute a fluid medium composed of desires not totally obtainable — the desire to be part of this other world, of the consumer image. In this way, the standard imposed by the covers of magazines are unconquerable. The images, retouched to its unnatural, create a world of non-existent beings. They are constructed images, fabricated with the purpose of selling and spreading the sense of consumerism. They change us by contributing to the fabrication of our lives.
We are governed by standards of beauty in where there are no imperfections of any kind, nor sense of time. These standards represent people, especially women, with no traces of age or experience. They deny loss and freeze time. Through fractions and portions, I intend to analyze the extent of what happens in our interaction with media images. My images are sourced from fragments and small details taken from magazines and ask the viewer to look deeper.
Originally from Argentina, Sofia Silva (Baltimore, MD) studied Sociology and Art History at the National University of La Plata and subsequently studied photography at the University of Buenos Aires, the International Center of Photography and with photographers Eduardo Gil and Lutz Matszche. Her photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States and Argentina, in both solo and group exhibitions at venues including the Art Museum of the Americas (Washington, D.C.), apexart, Ricco Maresca Gallery (both in NYC), Galeria Arte X Arte, VVVgallery (both in Buenos Aires, Argentina), the Baltimore Museum of Art, Open Society Institute, and C. Grimaldis Gallery (all in Baltimore, MD), among others. Silva was an artist in residence at Maryland Art Place and is currently in residence at Piramidon Centre d’Art Contemporani in Barcelona, Spain. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including two Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. Silva is represented by Ricco Maresco Gallery in New York City and C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore. Sofia Silva was an artist-in-residence at CPW in September and October of 2010.