shooting blanks BY GINA OSTERLOH
Shooting Blanks is based upon the impotence and futility of language and the desire to connect. In each of her lush, mostly large-scale photographs, Gina Osterloh treats the body and its surrounding environment as symbiotic physical and psychological spaces. In many of her photographs, the room itself is treated as a second skin, created through hundreds of paper cuts. In Blind Rash, the room is constructed from hundreds of pink skin-scale or camera shutter like shapes. A young woman poses for the camera, yet her eyes are covered, cutting basic means of perception and denying access to the viewer. In Cut (Pairs) two figures on all fours slouch over, as their bodies articulate the same paper cuts as the surrounding room, yet only partially match in color. It is through this misarticulation via mimicry in language, that slippage occurs, and restrained desires misfire. While previous photography insisted upon the use of her own body, Shooting Blanks marks a pivotal shift - as Osterloh’s work expands to incorporate other bodies and in some photographs, allows the body to disappear altogether, leaving the room blank.
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