Meet the Artists: Matthieu Croizier, Masha Svyatogor, Rehab Eldalil, Muhammad Salah
Everything Goes Dark A Little Further DownSource: Everything goes dark a little further down, 2020 This project investigates the concept of ordinary monstrosity, unravelling the boundaries between what is thought of as normal and abnormal, using the body as a primary material. As a starting point, I examined the construction of monstrosity throughout history, from the invention of hysteria in the 19th century to the role of freak shows, where staging was essential and images were manipulated to play a vital role in reinforcing the norm. We hold on to binary ideas of beauty, actively distinguishing between what is beautiful and ugly. I wanted to blur these ideas with this work, to show that monstrosity exists within us all and that it is a concept that has been shaped and constructed over time. Through self-representation, I seek to fabricate monstrosity out of simple things surrounding me, to embrace it rather than to reject it. I have always identified with freaks, feeling othered by my queerness, and this idea of claiming my own monstrosity really helped me become who I am. This project represents for me the materialization of a long inner journey that I have had to go through since I was a teenager. It is a love letter to the abnormal, a renunciation of being normal. In reference to medical or anatomical iconography, I try to deconstruct normative representations of the body. To what extent is a body a body, and how can it free itself from the norms that constrain it? The photographs depict an extraordinary act of metamorphosis, where fragments are melded together to create something new. Despite the spectacular aesthetics of the images, it is just a show of banalities and the monstrosity, which seems disturbing at first, ends up revealing its own construction.