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Roe Ethridge’s practice is that of a restless maverick and his constantly evolving visual sensibility has spawned a myriad of copyists in what has become known as ‘the new school of synthetic photography’.
In this his latest artist book, Ethridge conflates a rich array of photographic tropes, combining personal documentary images made in western Palm Beach County, his mother’s childhood home, with surreal collage works, and a series discarded from a Chanel fashion shoot. These are interwoven with what appears to be a carefully directed scene depicting a teeth-white Durango SUV sinking into and then being retrieved from a canal. The clash of visual styles, histories and meaning establish a flatline of dissonance underscored by the touchline admonition of the neon title - SACRIFICE YOUR BODY.
Ethridge's storytelling invokes a sense of discomfit akin to David Lynch’s film-making, a lucid undermining of veracity and morality and the ingrained materiality that underpins American life.
Roe Ethridge, born in 1969 in Miami, Florida, lives and works in New York. His work has been shown extensively at institutions around the world, including MOMA/PS1 (2000), Barbican Center, London (2001), Carnegie Museum of Art (2002), Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2005), The Whitney Biennial (2008), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010), Les Recontres D’Arles, France (2011). Solo exhibitions include the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Garage, Moscow, and Le Consortium, Dijon, France (curated by Anne Pontegnie). In 2011 he was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
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Publication date: 2014
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