Naomi White

Projects Competing Desires
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Competing Desires

Where do I stop and you start?

Desires come and go, crossing each other out, wrestling for priority. Some dissipate, most persist. Anxiety and concern loom. Love takes on new forms. The mother negotiates herself between object, subject, desirous, and desired, in an ever more fragile world.

Competing desires explores my experience of motherhood through desires that juxtapose each other - desires to protect/ let go; to work/ be with him; take care of him/take care of myself. I use collage to address the contradictions and over-simplifications in photographic representations of women - who are mostly shown in a binary as either (satiated) mothers or (ready) sexual objects. Mining archives of Ms.magazine, Hype Hair, Teen Vogue and more, I explore the hum of alternating mind-sets by juxtaposing images that reflect the anxiety of my emotional terrain.

Desire at its root is always with us, fanned by capitalism, advertising, and the internet. Photography plays a significant role in the creation of desire, in its glamorous lighting and framing, transporting us into a fantasy. Fastening disparate photographic, organic, and everyday elements together, I investigate the external and internal narratives that flow between these real and imagined realities.

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