For the final project of the sample display, I chose to curate Diane Arbus’ photography, which could be cataloged into the human-related professional artwork sub-category in my proposal of the museum.
I got inspired when I saw Diane Arbus’ photography of marginalized people. She took honest and intimate portraits of them, and showed directly what is usually not seen to the public. Her work demonstrate a group of people, which are usually disregarded or at least not in accordance with the beauty standard we see in the media everyday. She documented imperfection, in a very authentic and respectful way.
Having such master piece as my foundation of the project, I built on that to make it more personal and convey my ideas to the audience. I noticed that short people, or dwarf, is a repeating theme in her works. Thus, I would want to feature on that. Also because the portraits are very intimate, I feel like having a box would be able to both put together photos of short people to create a more heavier impact, as well as create a suitable atmosphere for the intimacy.
To add more layer in to my work, I found an interview of Cara Reedy, who suffers from dwarfism (Link:https://www.cnn.com/2014/09/12/living/little-person-dwarfism-first-person/index.html). In the interview, Cara talks about how it is like to live a life as a short person, and that how dwarfism should not have been seen as abnormal. It suits perfectly with the idea I want to pass – embrace our imperfection. Imperfection should not be equal to abnormal, and should not be disregarded and make people feel ashamed of. I watched several videos about her as well, hoping to find some materials to turn into audio and put into my installation. However, none of them is perfect. I, therefore, kindly asked Millie for a huge favor to record the interview into an audio in a neutral tone.
Therefore, my installation has its final form. On the wall there are portraits of Diane Arbus on ordinary people – all kinds of them. In the box, there are only portraits about short people, with earphones playing the audio story of a short people’s monologue. The installation is named “Normality Featured” in order to pass the message that imperfection is not abnormal.