Solo Exhibition by Charlene Galea
Curatorial Note by Raffaella Zammit
For over a year Charlene Galea was sexy. Packaged to please her followers and anyone that bumped into her Instagram account, looking for supple flesh, lace, pvc and sensual poses. Her eye-catching photos, always coupled with a story, draw you into a stream of consciousness questioning, poking fun, pouring her soul through thousands of smartphones.
But what is sexy? Growing up in the 80s and 90s, women on our, mainly Italian, TV channels were literally displayed like meat at the butcher’s. As Ariel Levy investigated, this was an image resulting from Berlusconi’s objectification of women. Berlusconi; a capitalist, a politician, owner of bodies and of minds.
Capitalism dictates not only what we buy, but how we should look and feel. With the rise of social media we are constantly fed on our feed images of the ideals we have been conditioned to yearn for. The image of women narrowed down to roles; man-eater, mother, career-woman, earth-goddess, traveller. For every role a curated image, filters and sponsored links, it only takes a transaction to become what you so desire. The image becoming the self, the selfie, the self-less.
Galea immersed herself in a year-long performance, documenting her image and her thoughts. Galea explores how the body, removed from the person, becomes a surface, and as fickle as the constant flow of images we have become accustomed to. The photos, some raw, some manipulated, are all accompanied by a story. An outpouring of thoughts and feelings; bittersweet, humorous, truthful, angry, insightful, powerful. For Galea the natural body is a forgotten reality, a work of fiction. Coached from a young age to change, to manipulate, to tone, to shave, to cover, to bare. The natural body, already a work of fiction, is now required to constantly morph. Unnatural poses, filters, makeup, synthetic fast fashion, has become virtually our reality.
Charlene Galea collaborated with:
Lisa Attard (graphic design), Taras (Kasalboi) (photography), Tiffany Camilleri (model), Etienne Farrell (photography), Jana Frost (collages), Kelly Muscat (model), Florinda Camilleri (choreography), Sarah Portelli (costume design).
Gabriel Caruana Foundation and part of its SPRING programme for emerging artists.
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