Friday, 19 March 2010

"My Chosen Image"

The image above is being viewed in isolation. However, it will have been made at a particular stage of the maker’s career and maybe as part of a series of images. By exploring this possibility it may be easier it gain a sense of the photographer’s intentions.
This is a colour portrait of Christina Aguilera , taken by the legendary American photographer, David Lachapelle. It is a high-key studio image. She has corest tie over her mouth, which suggests that she has “no voice”. Her hair and make-up have been made up to look sophisticated and elegant. She is crying, this makes it seem as she has been abused, possibly sexually as she her bare shoulders make her look topless. She is looking up towards the ceiling, in hope or desperation. The blue background is calming, but could also suggest sadness in her life.
This image is part of Lachapelle’s “Declare Yourself” series, which was a campaign during the 2004 United States presidential elections, to encourage young people to vote. There are many other images to the series, they pretend to be clichéd commercials for different products but all end with the same ending: Silence. After each image, there's an eerie silence as the words "Only You Can Silence Yourself" appear, followed by a voice whispering "Register to vote now." The above image has been very cleverly set up, without reading up on the series the first thought that comes to mind is that she has been a part of domestic violence. Lachapelle has created a piece of work that makes the viewer think about the meaning.
The images in this series also have a sexual theme to them; “Declare Yourself” hired Lachapelle and Marc Liddel to shoot a bondage-themes print advertising campaign. Lachapelle has shown this in the above image by using a corset looking tie over Christina’s mouth.

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