Dominique Cro is a socio-artist living in London. For her, the observation and study of human behavior through the lens of her camera are manic and magnetic processes. Photography is an artistic tool capable of capturing the truth of just one second. Real. Unique. The technique of this discipline is perfectly suited to Dominique’s curious, sensitive and attentive eye. She wants to observe social issues such as queerness, sexualization and surveillance technology.
Hello Dominique, what differentiates photography from other arts? What does it teach us?
We live in a visual era and photography has the power to move our emotions in a split second. Recognizing the influence of images in our lives and using this as a positive force for change is a practice I apply in my work. By encapsulating the truth of a moment, a photograph can reveal reality, create momentum and ultimately make a diﬀerence.
Is photographic art a good tool for studying society?
I think every tool that attempts to depict a representation of society should be examined at source. Whether it’s a video, an article or a photograph, the intentions of the artists, their gaze and biases must be considered when using photography as an authentic study.
What prompted you to document, through photography, the cycles of production, consumption and waste?
Production, consumption and waste are processes in our global society that
have grown disproportionately, without limitations and this has increasingly led them to be totally detached from nature. This has resulted in excess objects, excess waste and overuse of natural resources.
For me, the environmental crisis is the greatest call to action that humanity has ever experienced. Taking care of our earth and home aﬀects not only every person but every form of life on this planet and I feel it’s my moral duty as an artist to create works that address these themes.
How would you describe your artistic poetry?
Here’s a poem I wrote entitled ‘The Glass which is Never Half Full or Half Empty’ which I think sums up this question nicely.
Run from time
Chase the next line
Search and find
The endless plate
The now, not wait
An all you can eat buﬀet
Heal or prevent
When we can medicate
For tech wizards
To cast spells
Of stem cells
Setting price tags
On youth and health
Of data prediction
Freedom of choice
To raise IQs
Find my iPhone
When skin is chipped too?
Of everything now
Mother’s fridge is running low
Mass consumption and CO2
Sit by the campfire
Of Amazon wood
Whilst Prime continues
To deliver our goods
No longer a space race
Between East and West
But a space race between
The super rich and the rest
A pricey escape
From this methane mess
And the glass is overflowing
But it’s business as usual
We should be crying
Over all the spilt milk
When our planet is dying
But you know they don’t call it
Trickle down for nothing
It’s all about business as usual
Sometimes images have a stronger charge than words, they are a great means of denunciation. Like in your latest project, for example, you want to celebrate queerness, love and respect for yourself. Do you agree?
Yes, I agree that images can be more powerful than words at times. I think the combination of image and text is even more effective.
The title of the work you refer to is ‘Crystal Queer’ and the series of works that celebrate body positivity and queer experiences. The project is an ongoing collection of photographs presenting diﬀerent expressions of sexuality of a whole host of people who identify with different sexual preferences and genders. Each person or couple is asked to express their sexuality while semi-hidden behind a textured glass pane. I think the title of this piece contextualizes the work to a certain extent and eludes the meaning of the work. If the series existed solely as images it would have been more diﬃcult for the viewer to interpret the work.
How are you experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic? Does your art lack physical contact?
I find that the first lockdown and its restrictions on traveling overseas have been a challenge for the usual way I work. Much of my creative process involves being outside with my camera. However, during this period I spent my time developing my animation skills and applying for funding to realize projects that require collaborating with a team of creatives.
Tell us about your latest online performance, Tits & Co.
This project was an online exhibition in which Tits & Co shared my work on their Instagram profile @titsandco. The piece I presented was a celebration of body positivity and free female nipple, as Instagram commonly blocks content showing female nipples but not men’s. The shame and sexualization of women’s bodies is a product of the patriarchy and so I wanted to challenge this notion within a platform that commonly condemns female nudity.
Tell us about your interest in surveillance technology. Without realizing it, we live in a super controlled world. And you, with your art, contribute to this world by filming persons without their consent and examining the eﬀectiveness of the privacy law.
I live in London which is dubbed the CCTV capital of the world, with an estimated 500,000 CCTV cameras on its streets. The intention of the surveillance series is to make us question our false sense of privacy, through secret footage of people in public spaces. If an artist films us without permission, we feel uncomfortable, but we don’t question the hours of footage captured of us on the streets on CCTV or the information we give out for free every day online. I hope my surveillance photographs can create conversation about the concept of privacy and the importance of our right to privacy.
Do you have plans for the future?
I asked for a loan to create a new series of works that speculate on our future as earthlings. Exploring digitization and the Anthropocene, this body of work discusses topics such as extinction, cloning and AI. I’ll also spend some wellness time pampering my cat who likes to sit on my computer and turn it oﬀ when I work too much.
To know more about Dominique's work, click here.
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