from the series Shoot The Arrow
In order to maintain entertainment for others you must be persistent, detached and loyal to your purpose. There becomes a fine line between performativity and natural elements of our personality as we switch mind frames, as we enter our homes after pretending to be someone else. It acts as another layer upon our original face, an additional smile, matched with the decorative face-paints expected in the industry. We are not ourselves in this context. Elements of us become borrowed, through each performance; gesture and ‘loving’ act. A part of you belongs to the people who receive their services, whether it is a physical burden, a mental shift or the physical decline we undertake each day. Part of you goes missing, but when resuming normal life it patches up anything that made its way off you. Two personalities reveal themselves, but it becomes more about an addiction of becoming something else. Hungry eyes awe over your beauty as you perform a combination of routines in different contexts, each eye as hungry as the next. That look penetrates our underlying need to feel loved, appreciated – to prevent us from becoming ordinary.
The extraordinary elements of her life, made up of wigs, costume and a superimposed personality as a result begin to define one element of our being, smothered within the consumption of becoming an object of desire. The photographer, Amy Touchette and her series Shoot The Arrow, too personifies the subject’s personality, as the bright flash begins to reminisce with the cameras that followed famous figures, wanting to see everything they do, every stage of their public façade. Amy follows her as if she is famous, wonderful, and you can see by the personality portrayed that she is. Although the borrowing and replenishing occurs each performance the subject still performs and appears to thrive off the excitement of living it.
There is never a moment’s hesitation before she moves onto the next stage, scene and crowd. Her stride so persistent, so forceful, so purpose led. It is only when the curtain subsides when the breath can be taken. The face removes to reveal the face of a person behind the stuffy mask. The wig comes off and the clothes come on.
The world seems different in the light of the other side of her personality. She can borrow herself back and reserve energy for the next time she is needed, demanded. She makes her way to the sea, looks around, and feels the breeze of normality as her short hair reveals air to her ears. Hands tingle in wonderment as she begins to remember the life she also leads, but tends to forget about. She is not needed here, that is why she needs it. It is barely a moment before a taxi is called to parade her about town for her next show. As a subject she is granted dignity, although all barriers appear to be stripped from her, and the relationship between observer and subject reveals a neutral understanding of why she does this. Her life is beautiful; it is full of intense highs, met with calm points of regrouping. Only a short break is needed before the beautiful addiction resumes itself, for her to be borrowed once more.
Written by Alexander Norton / Edited by Steve Messer / Published 26 June 2013