Artist's Statement

Denise Prince

The swift collapse of long standing norms in current culture has brought with it more widespread flexibility with identity. There is also a greater sense of disorganization in a culture struggling to keep up with who we believe we are.

Captivating Not Captive embraces the shifting pretends, using the context of fashion photography (historically on the vanguard of culture’s fantasy space) to boldly take license with the rules of Desire (the memory of the missing thing).

The models and I suggest we are not beholden to the limits of fantasy.

Object Lessons is an extension of Prince’s work making explicit that Fantasy organizes our experience of everyday reality and tells us who we are. She uses the singsong of storybooks and the language of commercial seduction to equate personal longing and the fantasy of satisfaction with effective advertising.

Prince gives lessons on the logic of fantasy and the grammar of girls and boys as she demonstrates the rules we use to define the meaning of the terms of reality and to identify the value of the objects we see there. Logic lets us quantify and identify unknown occurrences by assigning an admissible range of values, meanings, or significances. Grammar lets us assign and read these instances of meaning. Prince makes a bold and evocative space in which we can imagine and reconstruct the naive, youthful wishes we used to identify ourselves and to read our world. As children desperate to know about the hidden world ahead, we accept both the conflict and the confidence offered to us if only we become an object assigned a value within another's desire: then the lesson can begin.