Marie Claire RIP

Marie Claire RIP is published by L’Heure Dite in two editions. Pricing information and book previews

Marie Claire RIP incl. Meet Marie Claire by Catherine Somzé. Stand alone book Format : 216x269mm English texts Soft cover 36 pages.

Marie Claire RIP & Jezebel Limited edition book-set of 200 incl. Marie Claire RIP, Jezebel, and a print of Marie Claire RIP portraits with special essay by Catherine Somzé

Two-book case + print  Format : 216x269mm English texts Soft covers 36 + 16 pages

Statement

In my series Marie Claire RIP (2007) I play the role of an unnamed woman, a woman who was repeatedly arrested and photographed by the New York Police Department. Some years after her death, her mug shots were published in ‘Marie Claire’ magazine under the header Diary of a Heroin Addict.

Who was she, this woman? For years she hung over me. I would say I thought of her but it was more like she was etched in my mind. Closing my eyes, she was there.

After several attempts to re-present the mug shots, I finally decided to re-stage them but with myself as subject. In part this was motivated by a desire to memorialise an unnamed person, a woman who had died and had no control over the use of her own image. She had become a kind of talisman to me, friend and fiend, known and unknown, a woman who changes before our eyes and looks back at us, observing her demise. At once the projection space for both my own addiction and annihilation fears, I also wanted her different, rewritten, destination unclear. In my attempt to memorialise an unknowable woman I am of course perpetuating a fiction, but fiction has always been very real to me.

This series, in challenging the veracity of the photographic portrait, also finds an authenticity in a notion of self-portraiture that involves acting. It is me and not her and yet it is her and not me, at the same time. This is how I now see the images in my head, as a conflation, a hybrid, a third character: still a ghost, but one with her own stage show at least.

EJ Major