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DAWN WOOLLEY

LURE 2014

 

Consumers living in the proto-capitalist society of the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century

had to conciliate the incompatible demands of surplus society and Calvinism. An allegorical

interpretation of still life paintings produced during this time suggests a conflict between

pleasure and piousness.

 

 

In contemporary consumer culture I am required to delay gratification and demonstrate a strong work ethic in order to fulfill the need for production. I am also simultaneously impelled to consume to excess under the hedonist incitement to ‘treat myself’ in order to fulfill the need for consumption and capitalist growth.  Lure focuses on this contradiction in advanced capitalist society. Diet foods are commodities par excellence; they conform to the dictum of self-denial without contradicting the imperative to consume. They enable me to appear restrained and indulge myself in the same instance.

 

 

The objects in Lure suggest equivalence between duped prey, a consumer dazzled by an advertising image, and the ‘absorbed credulity’ of a fetish worshiper. The series contains thirty photographs. Each image is composed and lit in the same way but shows a unique object. Each image and object take its signifying value from its relation to the other images and objects in the series The series is designed

to impel the consumer to collect the complete series.