Artwork Description / Detail
Similarly political in subject, the Viewfinders draw on the frescoes of 14th century Sienese painter Ambrogio Lorenzetti known as The Effects of Good and Bad Government. Just as Lorenzetti’s frescoes were intended to remind the rulers of Sienna of their obligation to wisdom, peace and justice, so too are ffrench’s photographs. Using three-dimensional frames or “viewfinders” ffrench manipulates the body of her audience, asking them to peer inwards to the photograph in order contemplate the state of New Zealand society today. While departing from ffrench’s concerns with the male gaze, her enduring interest in vision and its impact on the body is evident in the manner in which these works physically condition how one is to view them. The “viewfinders” remind us that one’s point of view is always bound to a certain extent within the societal frames or assumptions of a given period.