Alexa Meade and Sheila Vand have collaborated on a body of work that explores the fluidity of form in relation to time and space. By stripping the subject of depth and dimension, a displacement of identity ensues, demonstrating the power of context over content.
Meade paints on Vand’s body, submerged in a canvas of milk. Vand’s performance is dictated by the opposing forces of fixed shadows and fluid space. The surface of the milk intersects Vand’s body at an uneven and unusual plane, creating a sense of movement and depth beneath her compressed form. This play on dimensionality in the picture evokes an optical illusion that activates the viewer’s experience by challenging their common perceptions. The identifiable becomes ineffable, giving the flat photography of the painted three-dimensional space an unsettling tone. By blending the borders between the subject and its surroundings, identity is muted and we’re left with the distilled nuances that shape the space.
All images © Alexa Meade and Sheila Vand