Cecilia Paredes: The Wandering Flight

Essay by Sarah Fisch
2015

Parades calls the female subject of her photographs not “I” but “she,” or even more baldly, “the character.” Why is this an important distinction? Because performance temporarily dislocates personal identity from the physical body, and because in the art world, as elsewhere, woman as object remains, to borrow from useful current parlance, “a thing.” Performance-informed photography wields the power to upend this dialectical “thing.” Though Paredes’ work tells a different story than that of fellow-performer/photographer Cindy Sherman, for example, both female artists employ their bodies as actors, rather than as objects.