The video works of Jessica McElhinney revolve around the practice of performance and distorted self-portraiture. Her latest work, The Jess Trap, is in essence a remake of a remake (The Parent Trap, 1998, after The Parent Trap, 1961). Reenacting scenes from the 1998 version, casting herself in the role of the twins, McElhinney explores how the mirror effect can illustrate the conflictive nature between the imaginary and the real for the viewer. While her recent works have displayed an increasing interest in the mechanics of Hollywood, at their core is an interest in the viewing process, those moments when an audience is able to borrow other masks or personas. Subverting those brief moments of identification and projection she makes strange the substitution of self for a foreign self. Deceptively light and naive, The Jess Trap promotes the interplay between reality and illusion, actuality and fiction.
Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George St, Fitzroy Victoria 3065, Australia
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Seven nights after dark