Scènes et Types
Scènes et Types
with writing by Sarah Dohrmann
Artist Talk: Wednesday, April 24, 7pm
Tiana Markova-Gold with Sarah Dohrmann
Scènes et Types, a solo exhibition by 2012 Baxter St at CCNY Darkroom Resident Tiana Markova-Gold, highlights a long-term collaborative project with writer Sarah Dohrmann about women on the fringes of society in modern day Morocco. This exhibition marks the third of four solo exhibitions from the recipients of the 2012 Baxter St at CCNY Darkroom Residency Program.
Tiana Markova-Gold says about this project: Scènes et Types is a collaborative project about prostitution and the marginalization of women in Morocco. The project combines my documentary photographs and photomontage with a long-form essay written by Sarah Dohrmann. Initiated in 2008, we returned to Morocco in 2011 with funding from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University as recipients of the 2010 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize.
Scènes et Types intimately portrays women who rely on sex work to survive. Scènes et Types tells the story of Moroccan women who, upon losing their virginity, had little choice but to become prostitutes. It discusses how their lives, sexual choices, and motherhood have been determined by society and culture. While this feminine and political exploration draws lines between ourselves and the women we portray, it also destroys those lines, leaving the narrative to rest in the awkward reality of compassion and communion alongside abstraction and disconnect—a space that often constitutes foreign relations.
My approach to the project was grounded in a strong documentary practice, shooting still photographs and recording audio. With this project I also began to explore the use of collage?photomontage by cutting the photographs I was making and piecing them back together, layering and juxtaposing the images. We were spending time with women who were pushed to the edges of society – single mothers, divorcées, prostitutes. Many did not feel safe having their faces photographed or simply being photographed at all, so I began to use the collages as a way to protect the women’s identities when necessary. I began to manipulate my photographs as a way to explore ideas around representation and perception, sexuality, the idealization and?or demonization of women’s bodies, the legacy of colonization, and the impact of Orientalist representations of North African women.
Tiana Markova-Gold is a documentary photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. She received a NY Times Scholarship to attend the full-time Photojournalism Program at the International Center of Photography in 2006-07. She has traveled extensively, documenting social issues with a particular focus on women and girls. Tiana’s photographs have been recognized in numerous photography contests and have been included in exhibitions at Sasha Wolf gallery, Exit Art and HOST gallery in London, England among others. Her work has been featured at international photo festivals including NY Photo Festival, Lumix Festival of Young Photojournalism in Hannover, Germany, LagosPhoto in Lagos, Nigeria and GuatePhoto in Guatemala City. Since the spring of 2007, Tiana has been working on an in-depth project about the lives of women in prostitution. This project has included work in the United States, Macedonia, and Morocco. Her work has earned her several fellowships and grants including a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Photography and the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for her on-going collaboration with writer Sarah Dohrmann about prostitution and the marginalization of women in Morocco. Her website is www.tianamarkovagold.com.
Sarah Dohrmann is a fiction and nonfiction writer who lived in Morocco for 15 months during 2007 and 2008 on a Fulbright Fellowship of the Arts for Creative Writing, which is when she began to spend time with Moroccan women in prostitution. Sarah returned to Morocco with Tiana Markova-Gold as co-recipient of the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize. She has also received a 2009 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a 2010 Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. Her essays and short stories have appeared in The Iowa Review, TIME LightBox, Teachers & Writers Magazine, and Joyland Magazine, among others. You can read more of her work on her blog Und You Vill Like It.