Paula Muhr

Paula Muhr

Work from Tata.

“Through the work “Tata” I investigate various modes of representation and role models which we internalise in such an extent that they inform our subjectivity. I turn my father (Serbian: tata) into a kind of amateur fashion model asking him to pose for me in his favourite clothes. He dresses himself up strike poses in front of my camera in an attempt to present all for him important aspects of his predominantly macho identity: successful businessman, tennis champion, gentleman, adventurous skier.

I stage his game of posing on different locations in and around our family house. The images are made as a reference to both fashion photographs and family album snapshots. The important difference lies in the fact that my father strikes poses, which are an amalgam between his normal postures and his interpretation of the expected attitudes of professional fashion models. Therefore, the resulting images, although staged, retain certain qualities of family snapshots.

My father’s identity is at the same time revealed and concealed as he acts out his dominant roles. By imitating images from mass media with which he strongly identifies my father tries to create an illusion of ideal life in which he strongly believes – a still rather fit and agile elderly gentleman who can effortlessly adapt to just about any male role. By overacting his roles he unconsciously deconstructs his own ideals.” – Paula Muhr

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