The woman does not speak, she is spoken of. The woman knows herself through what is said of her. The woman only exists in relation to being desired by her audience. The woman does not dream of anything, but the perception her audience has of her.
(Quote combined from "Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young Girl" by Tiqqun, 2012. Freely translated by Sofia Okkonen.)
Rose by Sofia Okkonen is a photographic foreplay and profile of a woman. It presents a woman isolated in a studio, posing for a camera. The model is like an amateur actor, who gets the script just as she arrives in front of the casting directors.
The photographs are loaded with a tension, born from the discrepancy between the physical presence and the emotional absence of the model. The woman is simultaneously inviting and rejecting the gaze.
The works pose sensitive questions about how the need to be seen correlates with the need to hide, how lust correlates with fear, the natural with the artificial or the banal with the sublime. How does a woman perform femininity, and to what consequences?
Sofia Okkonen (b.1987) is a fine art photographer based in Helsinki, Finland. She is an MA graduate in fine art photography from Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Okkonen was selected as one of the ten finalists in the internationally acclaimed Hyères photography competition in the spring 2017. Photographs from her series Rose were exhibited in a group exhibition at Villa Noailles in Hyères, France. In her works she explores the masquerade of beauty and femininity. Along with her art practices she is specialized in fashion photography. On one hand the ideals of beauty ever-present in fashion photography provoke her, on the other hand she is inspired by the roleplay, masks and fantasies they provide.