Suzy Lake has had a long exhibition career internationally. In the early 1970s, she was one of a pioneering group of artists to adopt performance, video, and photography to explore the politics of gender, the body, and identity. Using costumes, make-up, and props, the artist creates self-portraits for the camera, often assuming new identities.
This exhibition presents two never before shown early suites of works: Imitations of Myself (1977/2012); and Suzy Lake as Françoise Sullivan (1975/2012). While shot in the early 1970s, these works have only now been produced. Imitations of Myself, the centrepiece of the exhibition, entails a grid sequence of 48 c-prints wherein Lake is seen applying make-up. In Suzy Lake as Françoise Sullivan, the artist transforms herself as a response to the acclaimed Québéçois choreographer and artist. By portraying the self-transformations in these works as the result of a multi-step process, Lake places emphasis on the artifice that is innate not only to portraiture, but also to image-making itself. Today, Lake continues to use references to the body as a means to investigate notions of beauty and aging in the context of youth and consumer culture.