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Showing posts from June, 2017

Wrecking Ball by Action Hero (Arts House)

“Metaphor is bullshit.”
How do you create an authentic moment? How do you invent something out of nothing? How do you find truth with your camera when all you have is a model, a white backdrop and some cocktails?
James Stenhouse’s photographer welcomes us to his studio. He wants us to relax. He offers us a beer. He doesn’t want anyone to feel any pressure, especially not his model. Gemma Paintin is his model, his subject and someone who wants him to work miracles.
From the opening minutes of this play by UK company Action Hero, currently in residence at Arts House in North Melbourne, we can feel the power imbalance. The photographer has the audience on his side. If we’re not glancing at him, finding him at his makeshift cocktail bar or at his seat in the audience, we’re only staring at her. He’s subject and she is object.
The model, who needs a memorable photograph, a transformative album cover, acts like she is only there out of obligation. This might make her a star, but it’s also …