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Primer
2014

Primer is a collection of moments extracted from YouTube makeup tutorials, in which the person applies "eye primer" or eyeshadow. The strange sense of intimacy in the banal bedrooms and bathrooms of YouTube tutorials is nothing new, but I have always been fascinated with the ways in which the person in a makeup tutorial uses the computer camera (and, implicitly, the viewer) as the mirror itself. Initially I went in search of those moments where the eye is held open -- a kind of vulgar, low-res invitation to one's soul -- but became more fixated on these closeups of the delicate, filmy skin of the eyelid. Here, its fragility is visibly palpated by the (often manicured) finger: a moment where the softness of the human is translated by the softness of digital video. Moreover, after watching so many tutorials, I am left with the sense of a fatigued and embattled eye, forever covered in primer, then scrubbed clean, then covered, then scrubbed clean, day after day.






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