As I navigate a world of surveillance cameras, drones, social media, “smart” phones, and facial recognition software, I find myself in a constant struggle with both visibility and invisibility. Anonymity is becoming harder, yet so is being seen. “Believe Me,” a title inspired by Trump’s most frequently used two-word phrase, is a series of photographs resembling surveillance images that one might find in Google Earth.
Mimicking augmented realities, I am staging site-specific temporary installations in the environment that challenge our current post-fact world influenced by scripted and hyperbolic reality television, fake news, sensational journalism and virtual experiences. Using a drone (and camera with a wide-angle lens) for a surveillance point-of-view, I survey myself, twisting the indexicality of the photograph to depict this blurring of what is real and constructed in our contemporary political and social environment. Thinking about military camouflage, the anonymizing nature of the aerial view, and satellite imagery, I play with my own visibility as I allow myself to be seen and surveilled. The nature of this new type of extreme aerial imagery and how it’s used (for Google Maps, drone strikes, breaking news and policing), creates a certainty for the viewer and a validation of authenticity. A God’s-eye view that is taken at face value.
I have been shooting this project over the past year and a half, and hope to travel to site-specific locations to create new images. Ultimately it will exist as a larger series that is created in various historical, geographical and unseen locations around the country. My portfolio shows the beginning stages of this project, with images created in various locations over the past year, ranging from ideas of commerce, emoji culture, virtual reality, fake news, and climate change.
Margeaux Walter received her MFA from Hunter College in 2014 and BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in 2006. She has received multiple honors from the Magenta Foundation, Photolucida, Prix de la Photographie Paris, International Photography Awards, and other organizations. She has been awarded artist-in-residence programs at Red Gate Gallery (2011), Montalvo Arts Center (2012), Marble House Project (2015), MacDowell Colony (2017), and Yaddo (2018). In 2016, she was selected for the New York Times Portfolio Review. She has participated in dozens of exhibitions at institutions such as MOCA, Hunterdon Art Museum, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Montalvo Arts Center, Sonoma County Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, the Griffin Museum of Photography and the Butler Institute of American Art. She has been featured in publications including The New York Times, New York Post, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, and Blouin Art Info.
The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation