Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Camouflage by Cherine Fahd; a series of photographs where ideas central to portraiture are tested and the notion of personal and physical disclosure is explored. Since 2009 Fahd has made self-portraits in which she always hides her face. This deliberate act of concealment comes out of Fahd’s earliest encounter with being photographed where, posing for a studio portrait with her sister at the age of four, the artist experienced an intense sense of disappointment when the image did not accurately convey her own internal sense of self. The images in Camouflage continue Fahd’s sustained response to this feeling of
disorientation, offering a reflection on the performance that occurs in the face of the camera—and the impossibility of our performance to represent oneself accurately for the camera. Undermining the convention of portraits to rely heavily on the face, the artist-as-subject in Camouflage is concealed behind a series of large-scale coloured fabrics and sheets of paper that recall the visual language of hard edge abstraction. The sharpness of the colour field, however, is disrupted by the fleshy body that oozes and protrudes from the ripped edges of these bold, elementary forms; with only an eye, nose, hand, belly button, nipple and feet ever peeking out at the viewer. The simultaneous hiding and revealing of the self sees Fahd seek out a way to better
represent the self which, unlike the fixed photographic image, is manifold and changeable: ‘The photographs as portraits ask you to look for me and in their camouflage hope to suggest the uncertainty of the idea of “me”.’
Cherine Fahd lives and works in Sydney. She is currently a PhD candidate at Monash University, Melbourne, and Lecturer in Photomedia at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. Recent exhibitions include: Everyday Fear, The Substation, Melbourne, 2013; 365 Attempts to Meditate, Peloton, Sydney, 2013; In Camera and In Public, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2011; Afterglow: Performance Art and Photography, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, 2011; Today, MOP, Sydney 2011; and Multiplicities: Self portraits from the Collection, The
University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, 2010. Fahd’s work is represented in major public collections in Australia, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.