Darlene & Me by Anja Niemi

Anja Niemi is a Norwegian photographer, that always works alone. She functions as photographer, director and stylist as well as appearing as the subject in all of her images. With her purposeful mise-en-scenes, Niemi invites us to consider the construction of the female both in society and in its mirror image-film. The excessive feminity of her women, with their coiffed hair and pristine dresses, pose s many questions as statements. Is she vulnerable or poweful? Real or illusory?

In the series, Darlene & Me, Niemi continues the doubling theme, which featured in some of the earlier Starlet images. The relationships portrayed between the character and her ather self in this Lynchian California deseert are complex. A brief sequence of images with a covetable suggest a body-in-the-boot murder, before it returns to familiar filmic freezeframe of two women heading towards certain freedom. But, wait, one of them is slumped back in her seat. Who could survive a confrontation with oneself?

All images: Anja Niemi