Althea Thauberger


Songstress (excerpt)

Jim Ellis
Truck Gallery | 2003

…The settings are key to understanding the project. Through what means does natural beauty come to appear artificial or worse, hopelessly banal, to our eyes? Similarly unsettling questions are raised by the songstresses’ sincere performances: why are the most heartfelt emotions often the most clichéd? How is it that the most earnest attempts at individuality often result in sameness? What keeps these questions from themselves becoming banal is the clever and strikingly beautiful photography, and the compelling guilelessness of the singers. It is difficult not to take immense pleasure in their performances, and this pleasure, like the singers’ apparent vulnerability, is what forces the burden of these questions back on the spectator.