Denise Prince and Charles Merward
Captivating, Not Captive (2009 - 2022): Enabling Desire
curated by Apama Mackey Gallery A.M.P.S.
at Bill Arning Exhibitions
604 West Alabama
Houston, Texas 77006
Captivating, Not Captive (2009 - 2022) : Enabling Desire
Denise Prince and Charles Merward fill the space between psycho-analysis’ disclosures and enactments with art, neither illustrative nor semantic but an exemplary meditation on the role of the body image in the defense against fundamental anxiety. Prince’s images create a conceptual mirrorless camera through which the viewers sees a direct, live view of the specular double before its capture. Unlike the fashion photography with which she began, however, the uncanny doppelgänger forecloses any romantic fantasy and instead retains its traumatic core as raw identification with the other, without any symbolic mediation. Prince’s images demonstrate the enigmatic experience in which one doesn’t know who one is anymore, in which she doubts her own ego and substitutes her reflection with a stranger. Prince’s secret is revealed as her models reflect the viewer’s gaze: I am No One anymore. This artist’s purpose is to unveil the body as a hole, a dismembered space that emancipates the viewer from her image so she is not captive to its auto-eroticism. Ultimately, Prince succeeds in elegantly if brutally conveying her thoughts and meaning and in the tradition of Magritte and Kosuth, stimulating knowledge by the acquaintance.