The Editor



“Through photographs, the world becomes a series of unrelated, freestanding particles.” -Susan Sontag, “On Photography”

Matto Lucas Visual Artist uses Artist’s flesh as medium in the performance installation “The Editor.” Taking his experiences as a photo editor and retoucher, Lucas aims to expose the values of a society obsessed, influenced and deceived by the manipulated photograph –or ‘false icon’ Can we still recognize ourselves in the hybrid identities that new technologies impose upon us? Does a photograph, in this pixel-mashed, instagram-fed, hyper image-saturated world hold any value, authenticity or truth anymore?

“Photography implies that we know about the world if we accept it as the camera records it. But this is the opposite of understanding, which starts from not accepting the world as it looks. All possibility of understanding is rooted in the ability to say no.” -Susan Sontag, “On Photography”

The performance installation will see the organic, unedited human, male form of the artist, perform the photo retouching process over multiple images of the subject; himself. A type of self-mutilation, or horrible meditation. Through this process, we see the silent, slow and tragic mutilation of the ‘truth’ of the photograph into it’s transformed False Icon, and within this transformation, Lucas asks the viewer to participate in the questioning of what is true, and what is false, what is real and what is not, what is beautiful and what is ugly.

Just as evil and sin are the opposites of good, whose hell they represent, so is ugliness, the ‘hell of beauty.’ Is ugliness the opposite of beauty? A kind of possible error that beauty holds within itself?

“Contact with the deformed has conferred something greater, more sublime. Beauty has only one type, ugliness has thousands.” -Victor Hugo, “The Twilight of Beauty”