“A Woman, Phenomenally” reacts to a history of photographic representation of people of color by focusing on how identity is constructed. The photographic portraits feature subjects that can be classified generally as “women of color” despite the specifics of their identity. Through a collaborative process with each woman, I create images that challenge exotified and stereotyped depictions and reclaim agency in “performing the other.”
Each woman presents a reflection of her constructed identity within the idealized environment of the photograph. I speak to each woman about our shared experience of constructing a multi cultural identity in America, and use details of her personal narrative to inform the subsequent portrait. Fact and fiction are merged through the combined use of props, sets, and digital manipulation of the images to develop narratives that blur the line between the actual and the artificial. This constructed environment mirrors the ambiguous social space that the women navigate in reality.
*A Woman, Phenomenally is an ongoing photographic project.
Tiffany Smith is a cross disciplinary artist who employs primarily lens based media to create conceptually based work that explores notions of identity, individuality, community, and cultural ambiguity. Smith’s work aims to create new perspectives on dominant historical narratives and provide insight into issues surrounding communities and how they are formed and defined. Smith received a BA in photography and graphic design from S.C.A.D. and an MFA in Photo, Video and Related Media from SVA. Smith’s work has been exhibited and published throughout the United States and in the Caribbean during the 2014 Jamaica Biennial. She currently resides and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Artist’s Website: tiffanysmithphoto.com