Retail Therapy / 6-10 Oct / OXO Tower Bargehouse
To tease our impulse control, fashion is reliant on photography, creating streams of glossy images that advocate new stylistic realities, as well as producing countless static shots of models wearing the clothes you can buy online. Addressing this misuse of a medium with the medium itself, Lucy Shortman turns the camera from proponent of the fashion industry into a tool of critical reflection. In her sometimes intimate, sometimes staged, frequently humorous and stereotype tinged images, Shortman sets out to question the production process behind the images that stimulate our purchases.
Employing friends and herself as models, Shortman acts out the actions of wearing clothes and posing for the camera, however, her images capture moments outside the clinically perfected fashion photographic canon. Instead we see the photographer vacuuming a suit between shots, a model turned away from the camera and another ungracefully bent double. Collectively a semiotics of awkward body language emerges exposing the falseness of the fashion industry and asking us to recognise that the images we are presented with portray a false and selective reality. The result is an antidote of sorts, that allows us to poke fun at the pressures of retail therapy.