The New School Archives Digital Collections

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Kelly Caitrona McDaid (designer)




Imitation of Life is a social commentary that decodes the manifestation of individual image. It investigates the existence and purpose of gender and role-play as social constructs, and examines the role of the gaze in this relationship. It manifests as a series of photographs, capturing staged scenes based on popular media contexts. Each image depicts a single model, assuming the identity of different characters, representative of Western feminine archetypes.

Creating a dialogue for the work I produce by recognizing my role within it, has always been a struggle for me. Imitation of Life has been my most honest and cathartic work, to date, as it expresses my analytical approach to my own interpretation of the feminine, and to understanding that of those I interact with. Similarly to my visceral response to the first time I was referred to as a feminist, I am learning to recognize that cathartic does not always mean self-indulgent. What follows are a series of personal stories that reveal my interest in and reflections on image as a social interface.



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