Momie de Femme II, 2013 (edition of 2 + 1 ap). C-print on archival fuji matt paper, 110 x 83 cm. ©Ludovica Gioscia.
SOFT POWERS26 November 2013
This series stems from the layering of two collections: the make-up advertisement and the magazine clippings archives, which span more than fifteen years. The result of the collision between the two archives is the Soft Power portraits. In these, inverted beauty and the fascination with destruction applied to the body, as described in J.G. Ballard’s novel Crash, are forced to collide and form a romantic alliance.
Perhaps this new direction in cosmetics advertisement is proving to be so successful because of its visceral appeal. Not only may we be unconsciously attracted to destruction but the depiction of make-up as paint may point to our increasingly hands-off creativity. Decades of screen-based creativity have removed us from the visceral creative process, and these new ads offer us the illusion that we can, through using these products, reclaim that relationship.