Tracy Lindner Gander: FLOUNCE
Excerpt from: Aperto South Africa
Tracy Ganders work is another attempt to evade stereotypes and to weave contemporary realities from this critical perspective. In Flounce (2002), her most recent series of photographs to date, she explores the slippage between the traditional genres of photography (documentary, landscape, portraiture, and fashion). In South Africa, genres have long been identified with their respective agendas: most notably, documentary as a tool in the anti-apartheid struggle, and fashion as part of the commercial whites-only sphere of interest. Flounce presents a series of portraits of a young woman taken in the early morning light in various surroundings of Cape Town, paired with images of the same landscape only vacant. In this work, Tracy Gander confronts typological elements as she chooses to set her fashion-like shoots in areas that are significant in terms of the socio-political history of Cape Town (District Six, Valkenberg, etc.); following the unspoken rule of the documentary tradition, the locations give the photographs their titles. As fashion images, these photographs are also unconventional, as the models personality is consciously exaggerated, and the awkwardness of her looks, gestures, and expressions is underlined. Asking both herself and the viewer what makes an image arresting, Gander pays true attention to details in a way that challenges the deepest assumptions of photographic practice in South Africa.
FlashArt, Issue 225 July - September 2002