April 13, 2012
ZOE CROSHER: MAE WESTED – DALLAS CONTEMPORARY, DALLAS, TX
The new Mae Wested series, presented at the Dallas Contemporary for the first time, fits into Crosher’s larger body of work, The Michelle duBois Project (2005–present). Inspired by the impossibility of knowing oneself through photographs, even after an endless accumulation of images, the artist reimagines and intervenes in the extensive personal photographic archive of Michelle duBois, a call girl who traveled extensively in the Pacific Rim during the 1970s and ’80s.
With a material awareness and strong interest in the arc of the photographic context in relation to the end of the analog, Crosher has re-photographed, scanned and re-ordered duBois’ slippery self-portraits into a careful amalgam of documentary and the imagined. duBois often liked to dress in elaborate costume for the camera, and one of her favorite personas was famed 1930s actress Mae West. For Dallas, Crosher’s Mae Wested series will introduce three elements investigating this obsession. Large-scale black and white images of duBois attending an event dressed as West will accompany a series of glamorous staged images which activate the gallery as duBois’ various characterizations of West gaze at one another across the room. Imaginative screenplay haikus written by Jason Underhill, which collapse the Japanese and Western fantasies of Mae West, the Marlboro Man and Michelle duBois, will also punctuate the gallery.
Throughout the duBois project, Crosher has manipulated the original images as a way to emphasize the archive’s physicality. Here, each image has been crumpled, re-photographed, and printed on metallic paper, resulting in shimmering, faceted surfaces which evoke the silver screen. Zoe Crosher was born in 1975 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, and was recently awarded the prestigious Art Here and Now Award by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art