By Carrie Miller…
The latest group exhibition at Galerie pompom is called Tutu – a seemingly innocent description of a ballerina’s costume. But it’s a word whose origins are somewhat cheekier. Among traditional theatre audiences those in the cheaper seats were relegated to the lower parts of the theatre. This section gave patrons a different perspective on the stage; they could peer under the ballerina’s skirts and eye their bottoms. At the time this led to the attribution of the French baby talk term for this part of the ballerina – ‘cucu’ – which evolved into the term we use today.
In this show we are looking up the metaphorical skirts of some pretty interesting characters, particularly in the photographic work of Emma Thomson and Samuel Hodge. Both have an eye for what’s captivating about the everyday, not through a straightforward documentary process, but by posing their subjects who aren’t portrait subjects in the traditional sense. Thomson finds hers from placing ads in local papers and asking them how they’d like to be portrayed. The result is a series of compelling images which are both a critical meditation on and a kooky, sometimes cringeworthy, celebration of living in a reality TV age where everyone wants to be seen.
Until 18 August
Galerie pompom, Chippendale
Pic: Courtesy the artist and Galerie Pompom.