This magazine-style artist's book by European contemporary artist Nicole Tran Ba Vang parodies the stereotypes and prejudices of advertising and fashion, exploring the fantasies of a consumer society.
Revue is a work in which all coincidence or similarity with individuals or existing luxury brands stems from a perverse and deliberate drive of the reader to connect the work to reality. The reader is strongly advised to be free. Drawing her inspiration from stereotypes and prejudices in our society that she parodies, Nicole Tran Ba Vang presents revisited or “review”-ed aspects of popular culture through a dexterous game of manipulation. In the manner of Surrealist poet Joyce Mansour, she turns advertising and fashion magazines into her medium. What is our aesthetic leeway? What is our degree of enslavement when confronted with the examples imposed on us by the media?
With works from writers, philosophers, critics, artists, art historians, and through mises en abîmes and détournements (diversions) of the media, cultural and aesthetic codes in which we are immersed, Revue invites us to explore the fantasies of a society of images and consumerism and to question the representations of popular culture appearances and the power of the media on our tastes, our values, our bodies and our minds.
Nicole Tran Ba Vang (born 1963, Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France, lives and works in Paris) became known for her paradoxical images: she undresses her models… by dressing them in a second skin, a nudity clothing which seems foreign to them. Simultaneously seductive and unsettling, these images disturb our perception of the most immutable thing we have, our skin, which becomes an interchangeable accessory from an ideal wardrobe. “Être ou ne paraître” (Be or appear to be)—this is the pun that Nicole Tran Ba Vang enjoys using to define the issue in her work. Since 2003, she has been creating photographic series extending her thinking on identity. Her chameleon women have embroidered skin. These delicate decorations adorning the walls are extended into their flesh, into which they appear to melt.