Xiao Ma (Smile) is a junior in Bennington College, currently doing Museum Fellows Term in NYC. She’s trying out casual photography in NYC that doesn’t necessarily relate to her identity (or identity politics). (she tries to bring her camera with her everyday, but sometimes she gets lazy. so lets say an average of 5/7 is how often she carries her camera with her every week-it’s important info).
Artist Statement: The power of collection sometimes comes from the satisfaction that repetition brings. There’s satisfaction for me in slowly destroying the idea of perfection in camera settings. (meaning: perfect aperture, perfect iso, perfect shutter speed, perfect focus point) The question is the motif: can we display imperfect works? Imperfection can be justified from: lack of equipment in the city, lack of confidence, and the lack of stability. /Lack of equipment is easy to explain: there’s no more accessible photo equipment as when I was in Bennington. A 11*13 print costs 20 dollars minimum. /Lack of confidence is not within myself, it’s my interaction with others: I can’t look people in the eyes while taking photos, I am afraid if I look at them, or take my time to actually take a photo, I’d be yelled at, questioned, beaten up. So I stopped taking pictures of people. (Or just briefly, when they aren’t looking). /Lack of stability because I am often always moving, there’s no “point and shoot” anymore, there’s only move, move, shoot while moving, keep moving. That’s why, these photos are mostly blurry- they are a reflection of my moving patterns in the city. It’s not bad or good, it’s just self awareness. That’s why I find escape in looking up. Since coming to NYC I’ve been taking pictures of what’s stuck in the trees. They are fascinating to me: all kinds of things get stuck in all kinds of places. They are the most casual, not-in-a-rush kind of objects in the city, it’s so stable that sometimes I thought they might be posing for me, intentionally. There’s not too much depth about this set of work, just thought to have fun with it, and it might be fun to be stuck.