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London: Darlene & Me by Anja Niemi at The Little Black Gallery


The Little Black Gallery, in London, presents Darlene & Me by Anja Niemi through  March 10th 2015. In the new series Darlene & Me, Norwegian photographer Anja Niemi inhabits a house in the California desert, in which she explores the fictional character Darlene. Niemi continues to function as the photographer, subject and director of her images, aiming as always for absolute control.
Darlene & Me started with the content of a suitcase from 1959, that left the photographer thinking about the relationship we have with ourselves. The case belonged to a beauty counselor named Darlene and contained makeup samples, brochures and the receipts from her sales. Most of the samples appeared to be untouched, but she could see clear traces of her fingers in the two lipstick colors Strawberry Festival and Princess Pink. In August 1960 Darlene sold a jar of Liquid Beauty and one Temptress’s Hairspray, both were to herself. After that she made no more sales. The case left Niemi with a feeling of a woman’s failed attempt at success, and a strong sense of who got in her way. The woman Niemi envisioned became the only character of her next series, Darlene and Me. Isolated in a rented house in the Californian desert, Niemi takes on the part of Darlene to tell the story of her fictional characters intricate relationship to herself. Darlene & Me portray two women, photographed together in displays of conflict or simply in each others company whether in agony or comfort. The two are, of course the same woman.


Darlene & Me’ by Anja Niemi
Through 10 March 2015
The Little Black Gallery
13A Park Walk, Chelsea,
London SW10 0AJ
United Kingdom

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