Masquerade 2


Recreate a childhood memory in a photograph. Think carefully about the memory you choose and how you’ll recreate it. You’re free to approach this task in any way you wish.

  • Does the memory involve you directly or is it something you witnessed?
  • Will you include your adult self in the image (for example, to ‘stand in’ for your childhood self) or will you ask a model to represent you? Or will you be absent from the image altogether? (You’ll look at the work of some artists who have chosen to depict some aspect of their life without including themselves in the image in the next project.)
  • Will you try and recreate the memory literally or will you represent it in a more
  • metaphorical way, as you did in Part Two?
  • Will you accompany your image with some text?
  • In your learning log, reflect on the final outcome. How does the photograph resemble your memory? Is it different from what you expected? What does it communicate to the viewer? How?

It might be interesting to show your photograph to friends or family members – perhaps someone who was there at the time and someone who wasn’t – and see what the image conveys to them.

Little ears hear . . . .

little ears hear . . . .

I have a vivid memory of a conversation between my mother and another woman. Although i don’t remember exactly whether I was in the room or not and can’t remember who the other woman was, the memory of this conversation has affected my confidence and self image all of my life.

My image represents the feelings that I felt, rather than a depiction of the actual event. The image is pretty much out of camera with a few tweaks to highlights and shadows and the addition of a shadow in room to allude to people being in the room. the blue shadowy area is alluding to being out in cold.

When I originally took the image I took it from my current eyeline, but then I realised I was a child and therefore, I needed a lower vantage point as I was a child when this happened. To be fair I’m only 5ft 2″ now ! Keeping the image in a portrait view also helps with the feeling of being small, looking up. The image is exactly what I had hoped to portray.


Dictionary Definition:


a party, dance, or other festive gathering of persons wearing masks and other disguises, andoften elegant, historical, or fantastic costumes.a costume or disguise worn at such a gathering.false outward show; façade; pretense:a hypocrite’s masquerade of virtue.activity, existence, etc., under false pretenses:a rich man’s masquerade as a beggar.

verb (used without object), mas·quer·ad·ed, mas·quer·ad·ing.

to go about under false pretenses or a false character; assume the character of; give oneself outto be:to masquerade as a former Russian disguise take part in a masquerade.

Nikki S. Lee

This is Project (2), and in relation to self-portraiture, the term masquerade is denoting that the photographer is using themselves to say something about something other than themselves. The course points to Nikki S. Lee, a photographer who transformed herself physically in order to include herself in pictures of other groups and cultures, with the aim of blending in with them. I see this a little like actors playing a role. It isn’t who they really are, but they transform themselves into someone else in order to tell a story.

Nikki S. Lee – google image search 19.5.19 – masquerading as others

It is interesting that having read Lee’s bio, it appears that she had wanted to be an actress. Perhaps that had something to do with her dressing up as other people. There is also the fact that she moved to New York from Korea and maybe felt out of place or different from others there and was trying to blend and belong.

Trish Morrissey – google image search. In the series ‘Front’, Morrissey says she is challenging the idea of borders and boundaries and asked women in groups who had set up ‘camp’ on the beach to swap position with her, she took their place in the family and asked them to take the images of her ensconced in their family group.

I think any person who’s partner has gone off with someone else, who has then taken their place in the family / group. I think this would evoke feelings of loss and position and place. If you are confident of your place in a group, then I guess you’d probably just see it as some fun. As someone who take family group photos, it always really interesting how people arrange themselves. With an impostor in the mix, would the accepted roles be challenged?


I wouldn’t call Lee’s work voyeuristic, it feels more like street photography, where she has tried to join in.

  • Is there any sense in which Lee’s work could be considered voyeuristic or even
  • exploitative? Is she commenting on her own identity, the group identity of the
  • people she photographs, or both?
  • Would you agree to Morrissey’s request if you were enjoying a day on the beach with your family? If not, why not?
  • Morrissey uses self-portraiture in more of her work, namely Seven and The Failed Realist. Look at these projects online and make some notes in your learning log.

It feels like Lee is commenting on her own identity and the fact that she is different, but also that each group has it’s own identity and everyone in the group blends in by the way that they look, be it clothes, or something else.

Yes I think I would agree to Morrissey’s request, and would enjoy seeing how my family looked in the camera. However, my insecurities might be challenged. I might feel jealous?

Trish Morrissey

Seven Years is a study recreating images from earlier periods along with her sister. Morrissey uses herself to represent other family members, trying to recreate the idiosyncrasies of people.

In this series, Trish used her face as a canvas for her daughter to paint. She was exploring the idea that children of 4 – 5 try to express themselves visually, but don’t have the physical acuity to do so at that time. The series was made over a period of time to see how it changed as her daughter’s ability grew.

In both of these series, Morrissey is masquerading as others or even things in an attempt to test other theories.