impostors

Impostors ~ The Curly Haired Men Series

Impostors ~ The Curly Haired Men Series

The Impostors Series has taken several different forms; installation, video, performance and photography. It’s main characteristic is in the ‘impostorship’ of someone well known. In the installation works, the viewer is invited to dress-up as the celebrity/television character or artist and perform as them. But in all cases, there are elements that highlight the fact the the participant is an ‘impostor’, either through gender, race or poor quality wigs.

In this series of photographs, Jessica Voorsanger, having been diagnosed with cancer, used her illness as a strength.  In the midst of her chemotherapy treatment she continued to explore identity and gender politics in The Impostor Series by creating a series of photographs of herself as famous bald men.  When her hair started to grow back – it came back curly (which was new for her).  Her response to this new step in the process of recovering from her illness, and wanting to reclaim herself – created a series of photographs of herself as Curly Haired Men.  The men included in the grouping are: Ronald McDonald, Adam Ant, Starsky (from Starsky & Hutch), Michael Landon (from The Little House on the Prairie), Art Garfunkel, Bob Dylan and Tom Selleck.

           

Impostors ~ The Bald Man Series

Impostors ~ The Bald Man Series

The Impostors Series has taken several different forms; installation, video, performance and photography. It’s main characteristic is in the ‘impostorship’ of someone well known. In the installation works, the viewer is invited to dress-up as the celebrity/television character or artist and perform as them. But in all cases, there are elements that highlight the fact the the participant is an ‘impostor’, either through gender, race or poor quality wigs.

In this series of photographs, Jessica Voorsanger, having been diagnosed with cancer, used her illness as a strength.  In the midst of her chemotherapy treatment she continued to explore identity and gender politics in The Impostor Series by creating a series of photographs of herself as famous bald men.  There are six portrait to link with the six cycles of chemotherapy that Voorsanger had to endure. The men included in the grouping are: Pablo Picasso, Alfred Hitchcock, Claude Monet, Kojak, Yul Brynner and Henry Moore.

 

 

 

Impostors ~ Art Impostors (Louis Vuitton)

Jessica Voorsanger worked with young people from the Louis Vuitton Summer Academy to produce a new series of photographs featuring: Clive Rowe (Tracey Beaker, BBC), Julian Rhind-Tutt (Green Wing) & Amanda Root (Persuasion, BBC). The photographs are a continuation of Voorsanger’s Impostor’s Series. The aspect of impostorism was emphasised with its ‘wrongness’ through gender cross-overs and/or race cross-overs. Clive Rowe, Julian Rhind-Tutt & Amanda Root posed as the artists: Yayoi Kasuma, Sofanisba Anguissola, Louise Bourgeois, Andy Warhol, Thomas Gainsborough & Pablo Picasso. The photos were shown at Louis Vuitton, 17-20 New Bond Street, London W1 (Dec 2010 – Jan 2011).

Image details:
Julian Rhind-Tutt as Yayoi Kusama
Amanda Root as Thomas Gainsborough
Julian Rhind-Tutt as Louise Bourgeois
Clive Rowe as Pablo Picasso
Clive Rowe as Pablo Picasso (detail)
Julian Rhind-Tutt as Sofonisba Anguissola
Amanda Root as Andy Warhol

Impostors ~ Peckham Heroes

Peckham Heroes, Peckham Space

Peckham Heroes celebrates Peckham’s historical and famous residents in a lively and innovative new artwork where the gallery is transformed into a warm, relaxed and sociable space that encourages active participation.

Jessica Voorsanger transformed Peckham Space into a drop in day-time karaoke bar dedicated to ten personalities that have a connection with Peckham. These heroes range from Rio Ferdinand to John Galliano and have been chosen by local young people from the Harris Academy who have worked with Voorsanger on the project.

Visitors were able to dress up in one of the bespoke costumes and wigs made by the artist and perform their hero’s theme song on a specially constructed stage. A video work featuring the artist and a range of other performers will be projected when live performances are not taking place.

The Peckham Heroes are: Ashley Walters (actor & musician: So Solid Crew, Adulthood); Boris Karloff (actor, Frankenstein); Jo Brand (Comedian); Chris Eubank (boxer); Mary Phillip (International footballer); Michael Caine (actor: Alfie, The Italian Job); Rio Ferdinand (International footballer); Olivia Coleman (actress: Peep Show, Rev); Thomas Tilling (inventor of the bus stop as part of his major horse-bus service which commenced in Peckham.

 

Impostors ~ Woody Allen Show

The Woody Allen Show was an exhibition in Berlin, as part of the Impostors Series . Jessica Voorsanger created portraits of Woody Allen (oil paintings) spanning his life and career. There was a video playing of Jessica performing Woody Allen’s stand-up routines, dressed as Woody Allen from either 1964, 1979 or 2006. The three costumes, the accessories and the monologues were available for visitors to try on and/or perform themselves.

Impostors ~ Stage Struck

Stage Struck was an installation at the New Art Gallery Walsall in 2008, which later became the first in the Impostors Series . The intention of the installation was to mimic a karaoke lounge. It featured 14 celebrities, their portraits (oil on canvas), costumes/wigs of them for the visitors to wear to perform the karaoke and a film of participants performing. The piece questioned the nature of celebrity and reality TV’s role in the disintegration of genuine celebrities. These ‘new’ celebrities are interchangeable. By selecting people that were/are talented, to feature in the exhibition, and allowing the visitors to mix and match by dressing as one singer and performing as another, it then becomes a metaphor for things going slightly ‘wrong’.

Impostors ~ Eastenders TV Studio (Whitechapel Art Gallery)

Eastenders is a project from the Impostors Series . The project consisted of an installation at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, The first Children’s Gallery Commission. The project was highlighting notable people from the East End of London in the form of a fake television studio. There were portraits (oil on canvas) of the ten featured Eastenders; Alfred Hitchcock (Leytonstone), Angela Lansbury (Poplar), David Beckham (Leytonstone), Sir Alan Sugar (Hackney), Meera Syal (Leytonstone/Ilford), Barbara Windsor (Shoreditch), Dudley Moore (Dagenham), Sandy Shaw (Dagenham), Honor Blackman (Plaistow) & The Kray Twins (Bethnal Green). The fake studio had a make-up area, costume, Green Room and stage. It was set up for the visitors to dress up as the Eastenders and perform on the stage in a continuously running karaoke. There was a song attributed to each of the Eastenders, ie. The Talking Heads ‘Psycho Killer’ was attributed to Alfred Hitchcock. Once on stage, the performer(s) were visible in the many monitors located around the installation.

Impostors ~ Crimefighters

The Impostors Series has taken several different forms. It’s main characteristic is in the ‘impostorship’ of someone well known. In the installation works, the viewer is invited to dress-up as the celebrity/television character or artist and perform as them. In some cases there are portraits of the ‘icons’ as well as costumes & wigs, often accompanied by karaoke. In the performance based pieces, Jessica Voorsanger becomes the ‘icon’ but always remains herself, ie. David Hockney with an American accent.

Crimefighters Crimefighters is project from the Impostors Series . The project consisted of an installation at the Kornhausen Gallery in Aschaffenburg Germany. The project celebrated the ‘TV Detective’. There were portraits (oil on canvas) of the featured TV detectives; Baretta, The Bionic Woman, Cagney & Lacey, Charlie’s Angels, CHiPS, Columbo, Hart to Hart, Horst Tappart, Knightrider, Kojak, Man from U.N.C.L.E., Miss Marple, The Bionic Man, Starsky & Hutch and The Sweeny. Other than the portraits, the installation consisted of wigs and accessories for each of the detectives featured which the visitors to the exhibition were invited to wear. The theme songs for the shows were also played, with a live band performing for the opening event.