Thursday, April 28, 2011

Labels- Zoila Méndez Martín at Hyllan, Arbetets museum, Norrköping, Sweden

It is both human nature and the basis for language to name the objects that surround us and the feelings that they evoke. But how do we label ourselves? The aim of social labels are exclude, to show how we differ from others.

Social labels are everywhere. You meet them no matter where you move through the cities of the world. They have become so fixed in everyday reality and our language that we use them without thinking about it. But what does it mean to be different? What does it mean to be a part of a group? How do we express our fears in what we are and how can we create a sense of belonging?

Spanish artist, Zoila Méndez Martín has photographed a large number of young people in Östergötland. The group of people presented, share a common link. They want to show two or more sides to their humanness and yet they are faces of a unique person. Each image pretends to discover the singular feature of the person and yet it is contradicted by a mirrored sibling. The visitor is viewing every portrait and can indentify something that is not associated with the expected expression. It offers another posed personality.

To underline this duality, the artist sometimes presents the images in black and white and sometime in colour. The photographs show something from the other “I” that the labels do not contain and do not let us to see.

The work which has been realized through Facebook networks reveals how deep technology runs in informing us about who we are and how we want to impress our being on the surrounding world. In Zoila Méndez Martín’s photographs, the act of producing the self becomes itself a form of labour that is moving to the forefront of what is considered work today.

All of the photos are untitled. The purpose is to avoid any kind of label and to make the spectator think about the humanity of this persons without any text reference of them.

Zoila Méndez Martín (1988) lives in Madrid, Spain. She is completing her degree in Fine Arts at the Complutense University of Madrid through an Erasmus scholarship in Sweden and in collaboration with Vision Forum. Her background is in painting, printmaking, drawing, video and design. But for her exchange year she has chosen to focus on photography to express her fascination for how young people in Östergötland relate to their identity.