Photography and Text by Leniqueca Welcome, Copyright 2016
Performing Non-Performance: The Photographs of Leniqueca Welcome
As a former architect now engaged in doctoral research in anthropology, concerned with the politics of representation, my pictures foreground the agentive work photographs do as objects allowing persons to negotiate different ways of being. My work explores how photographs could be used beyond simply reproducing a particular subjective experience of what is present at the moment of taking a picture as I engage with images as affective artefacts rather than solely objective visual content. With a belief that there is no one concrete self but instead a continuously constructed personhood that is always performing as part of daily life to navigate situations, I am especially interested in the ways the process of constructing the photo can allow the production of material images of multiple imaginaries of both the photographer and the subject as a collaborative process.
Women are constantly commanded to perform happiness in their daily lives: we are often asked on the street to smile by strangers; told by multiple media campaigns that a woman’s best accessory is her smile; and told that tears, rage and ambition make us unattractive. This particular project contests role conformity to this prescription of proper femininity as it explores the beauty contained in displays of strength, vulnerability and desire. The pictures attempt to translate the depth of personhood that is often forced to be hidden behind a smile. As these photographs are captured, the women perform for the camera but they refuse to perform for society; they own their own representation.
About The Author: Leniqueca Welcome is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, has a degree in Architecture, and is currently enrolled in the graduate program of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. To read more articles by Leniqueca Welcome, go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/leniqueca-welcome-black-men-for-bernie/