In Currents and Clichés, Saty + Pratha (Saty Namvar and Pratha Samyrajah) present images that explore ambiguous notions of femininity through the distinctly un-original lens of cliché. Drawing from their obsessive passion for pop culture and art history, the duo identities and catalogues recurring feminine archetypes and symbols adrift in Western society, then strips them to their core parts and re-imagines them for a modern photographic context. The artists are interested in those hackneyed depictions of womanliness easily consumed for their simplicity and implication, and how such imagery contributes to this current generation’s sense of self.
While the images are suffused with layers of feminine motifs, and all possess a visual ancestry—whether to a pre-existing artwork, or to a general societal conceit—unexpected choices of sets, props, and/or makeup steer the resulting work away from pastiche and toward an oddly ambiguous beauty and poetic uncanniness. The resulting tableaux are simultaneously referential and current. This exhibition features a selection of prints and videos drawn from a larger body of work captured in multiple cities and two years in the making.