Date of Submission

Spring 2011

Academic Program



Tim Davis

Abstract/Artist's Statement

We are born into a body that can be changed. The malleability of aesthetics enables the human desire for a different form. In order to alter our appearance, we must embark into a new world, a domain that seems sterile but can become the most grotesque: the institution of beauty. This project exhibits transformers and the transformed within their facilitating spaces. The interiors and portraits equally serve to reveal the fleeting aspects of human physicality. Many of the photographs lack humanity; however, the human body is indisputably present. The spaces remind us that the practice of modification occurs behind closed doors - interiors devoted to exterior desire represent not only the confidentiality that develops within the space, but also the privacy that takes place within the mind. These rooms parallel the architecture of the human brain, and although the results are corporal, ideals of aesthetics are cerebral.

Photography is used as a function to advocate societies contemporary models of beauty. This supposedly realistic medium allows the portrayal of “perfect” beings in extensively viewed magazines and billboards. Because this breed of images are continuously reproduced, the public is lead to believe they should change in order to become visually appealing. I aim to use photography for a different purpose. Rather than present the ideally attractive, I want to demonstrate that beauty is created by the institution. This project illustrates the places that thrive on altering physical appearance and cater to human insecurity. Whether as trivial as a barbershop, or as extreme as a plastic surgery, we are constantly feeding into the modification market.

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