Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Sydney Ellison

Jul 22, 2020 - Michael Hicks

These collages by Brooklyn-based artist Sydney Ellison examine the cultural and historical record of the objectification and commodification of women's bodies and the reinforcement of gender norms. Sydney's interventions – the layering, tearing and juxtaposition of images – are visceral and direct

From Sydney:


"This way of working came about at the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S. when I was trying to figure out a method for expressing these concepts with the resources I had in quarantine. The images are collected from a variety of historical archives and mass media sources and in most cases are composed digitally in a way that connects formal qualities in unrelated images to push a conceptual conversation.


The use of archival imagery is representative of the ways in which mainstream cultural memory and intergenerational indoctrination contribute to the socialization of gender and the erasure of opposition to gender norms throughout generations. I am interested in the way grouping images can help them take on a new significance and our tendency to believe what we see within the frame of a photograph as true. The images are layered or fragmented in order to produce a conversation focused on the socialization and performance of femininity. These pieces specifically focus on the contrast between activity and passivity and normative standards of beauty."


For more of Sydney's work, follow her on instagram: @sydneyxx