Shelli Weiler is an artist from Scarsdale, New York. She will be receiving a BA in Studio Art from Wesleyan University, where she concentrated in photography. Shelli loves anything she can eat with a spoon and has a deep-seated hatred for nothing in particular. Her work focuses on how photographic realism can allow for the production of fantasy while simultaneously hindering its fulfillment. Shelli considers the discrepancy between authentic self and constructed persona by looking at the ways people perform for and through the intermediary camera. She’s fascinated in how people disclose themselves through the artifice of costume and theater, and uses portraiture to locate a dissonance between acting and outing.
Pop culture renders social phenomena innocent with a veneer of lighthearted entertainment. Instagram playgrounds proliferate urban areas, selling simulacra of experience and pre-packaged spectacles that work in the service of pure consumer pleasure. The sensationalism provided by their superficiality attests to the emptiness they harness. These experiential voids engage with a projection of desire through the attempt to physicalize fantasy. This physicalization inhibits realization rather than arriving at any sort of fulfillment, making apparent its conditions of entrapment and failure.
ENJOY house presents forms of escapist amusement as hostile, uninhabitable environments. Costumed space take on the appearance of dystopian purgatories rather than manufactured wonderlands, reducing their glamour into something cold and unfamiliar. Moments of authenticity at the height of artifice are captured and filtered through a subjectivity that assumes the semblance of mechanical observation. This detached gaze highlights the shortcomings intrinsic to the construction of paradise. By imposing the illusion of objectivity onto these facades, an alternate and uncanny universe emerges that emphasizes the nonperformances taking place within the phantasmagoria of these stage sets. The discovery in each picture lies in the decontextualization of activity, which focuses on the seductive trappings of theatricality rather than the theater itself.
To view more of Shelli Weiler’s work please visit her website.