Nikki Lee’s series Projects sees her transform herself into many different subcultures, so that she seamlessly blends into to a group. What you notice from the set is the images are not constructed, and she has clearly not taken the photographs (as she is in them), and so they feel much more believable and natural. By them not being staged, it makes the viewer question how Lee has managed to fit into each community. For the set, she didn’t just put on a costume and some make up, the spent time with each community, learning about them and experiencing them. This enabled her to make the identity part fluid and extensions of herself. When questioned about whether the series was about herself or the people she was with, she says “It’s about me. The question is about me, but to show me with the other people in the project becomes every much significant. The identity question of myself requires me to look at the relationships with myself and other people.” (Nikki Lee).
Trish Morrissey made the series Front by approaching families and groups of friends and asking if she could join them. She then took the role of a woman within the group, often borrowing her clothes and accessories before asking the woman to take the photograph using a camera which was already set up. Once in place, Morrissey made herself comfortable in the role. Nothing feels staged in the photographs, and everything is made to feel very natural. This series is a simple concept that evokes questions about friendships and family, it also blurs the line between fact and fiction, between what is real and what is not. I think if she was to ask me to swap places, I would be dubious at first, but it sounds like she explained to the family’s exactly what she was trying to achieve and put them at ease, so I would happily oblige. “It takes a lot of bottle to ask strangers to do something like this, but they got it quickly and had an openness to art that was about more than the beret and paintbrush” Trish Morrissey from The Guardian.
In the series Seven Years, Morrissey aims to deconstruct the notion of family photography by mimicking it. The title refers to the age gap between the artist and her elder sister, Morrissey stages herself and her sibling in fictional scenes based on the conventions of family snapshots. In order to construct images from the 1970s and 1980s, Morrissey uses period clothing and props. The resulting photographs tell moments in which the unconscious leaks out from behind the façade. Many families would be able to associate with these images as ones they have taken with their own, and would make the viewer look at them with themselves in mind.