A suite of photographs of Urdu-language films shown on state-controlled television in the 1970s, examining television as a way of imagining and shaping collective ideas of ‘success’ or ‘urban modernity’ as exemplified by the interiors, fashion, personae and gestures of the films. Taken at slow shutter speeds, they capture scanning lines of the television screen and produce a grainy, blurred effect that suggests a dream or trance-like state, several steps removed from the ‘reality’ of the depicted scenes.
In a way, normcore reminds me of the whole “natural beauty” thing in that, just as there’s nothing really natural about that, there’s nothing really normal about normcore. Both privilege a certain look, a sort of cultivated invisibility. A whole lot of work can go into a fresh faced makeup-less look, and the normcore look is deliberately stylized. It is this self-awareness that makes it ultimately another way of excluding people. It’s loaded with the same bullshit presumptions as the phrases “growing old gracefully” or “real women.” Nothing exists in a vacuum, and when we think of these buzz words, we think of a certain type of person, one that adheres to certain standards — of beauty, age, race, gender, ability and social standing. — Normcore is Bullsh*tThe Style Con