My Lifetime Now
November 20 – December 20, 2003
Ramona Trent’s photographs depict solitary female figures in a landscape or an interior. Often the pensive gaze and gesture suggests a personal intimate moment imbuing the image with an emotive atmosphere. The works occupy a kind of border zone between photography as document and photography as fiction. The documentary aspect links them to countless snapshot photos while on the other hand the images are historicized through photography’s exploration of the female gesture.
The women are models or often friends directed by Trent to capture a specific body language, movement or gaze. The artist does their makeup, hair and clothes, in a sense putting herself in them. In one work, a woman pauses in a sterile urban setting. Clad in denim shorts and a red top, she glances off into the distance beyond the confines of the photo. Caught in an uneasy ambiguous moment, the viewer is left to ponder the action she is watching or escaping.
The photographs are not only rooted in a conceptual framework investigating nuance but also tread the border of fashion. More importantly they explore humanness. Carefully posed and staged, Trent’s women occupy a specific time. Without encouraging direct identification with the subjects, Trent keeps them in a distant perspective. The women are vulnerable, sensitive and in a stage of transition, bringing to mind cinematic film stills or Helmut Newton’s coolly posed compositions. The works capture an eroticized atmosphere that underscores ideas of beauty and despair.