From an American lens spanning Hollywood’s Golden Age to the present day, Liz Calvi is interested in the way iconography is constantly recycled, reconfigured and perpetuated – from the silver screen to a digital sphere. Identity formation as it is performed and played out in film, in particular relating to female sexuality, remains stiltedly frozen in her images.
The photographs merge autobiographical, intimate displays of subjectivity with staged visual depictions of women from cinema, to explore the impact collective cultural memories have on the psyche. Female character archetypes and the mythic nature of American ideals and fantasies vacillate between alignment and rejection. There is a simultaneous tension and pleasure to be had when inhabiting identifiable roles for the self and the collective body.
By referencing a Jungian shadow within the context of self-portraiture and consumer screens, Calvi positions herself within these mediums to encourage the creation of digital self-fiction for reflexive uses. Akin to transference in psychoanalysis, she believes that image making and writing can be used as a surrogate to the therapist so that the plethora of content creators can better see and understand themselves, including their shadows.
Liz Calvi (b. 1990) lives and works between London & New York City. Her work mixes photography, video, writing and sculptural installation to critically unpack the shadow self found within digital images.