Sunday, August 3, 2008

Elle Muliarchyk

Elle Muliarchyk has been evicted — occasionally under threat of arrest — from high-fashion boutiques around the world, but she’s not a shoplifter or a copyist. Elle Muliarchyk is an artist, and what she steals are fashion moments. The settings in which she chooses to stage her oddly beautiful, solitary performances are luxury changing rooms. And while some have compared her quirky oeuvre to Cindy Sherman’s stills and to Vanessa Beecroft’s performances, Muliarchyk is a true original.

When she first photographed herself in a changing room, she wasn’t thinking of it as art. “I was in London, trying on a beautiful designer dress that I couldn’t afford,” she says later, drawing on the first of many “social” Marlboro Lights. “I had my camera with me. And taking a photograph was like owning the dress.”

It can be a cubicle without a lock, a space that’s not public but not exactly private, either. Here, we strip both physically and emotionally, trying on clothes as well as personae. And while we hope for a metamorphosis — into someone thinner, sexier, richer, different — harsh lighting and awkward angles too often force us to confront the nauseous schism between fantasy and reality.

Excerpts from NY Times article, "Pretty Larceny".

No comments: