Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Untitled

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (photographed)

  • Date:

    1995 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Walker, Maxine, born 1962 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    C-type print

  • Credit Line:

    Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

  • Museum number:

    E.309-2013

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 514a, case R, shelf 20, box R

Maxine Walker’s photographs raise questions about the nature of identity. In this untitled series, Walker challenges racial identity stereotypes as she photographs herself in a variety of guises. Playing on the format of photo-booth photography, Walker’s changing hair and skin colour across the series appear as instant transformations rather than fixed identities. The photographs engage with the politics of black female identity, especially hair.

This series was first exhibited in 1995 as part of the ‘Self-Evident’ exhibition of black photography at the IKON gallery in Birmingham, which also featured a series by photographer Ingrid Pollard. Both series were acquired by the V&A as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.

Physical description

A framed colour photograph of a woman with short black dreadlocks, shaking her head with her eyes closed. The woman wears a dark blue knitted jacket with a pale blue t-shirt and dangling earrings.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (photographed)

Date

1995 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Walker, Maxine, born 1962 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

C-type print

Dimensions

Width: 20 in, Height: 24 in

Object history note

The V&A acquired this photograph as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Maxine Walker from the series Untitled, C-type print, 1995

Labels and date

Text label for the exhibition, 'Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s-1990s
16 February – 24 May 2015

Maxine Walker (born 1962)
From the series Untitled
1995

Walker draws attention to racial stereotypes as she
photographs herself in a variety of guises. She presents
her different skin tones and hairstyles as though they
were instantaneous transformations made in a photo
booth. The series invites consideration of the politics
of such cosmetic choices.

C-type prints
Museum nos. E.303 to 310-2013 [16/02/2015-24/05/2015]
Making It Up: Photographic Fictions (2018)
Marta Weiss

Walker draws attention to racial stereotypes as she photographs herself in a variety of guises. She presents her different skin tones and hairstyles as though they were instantaneous transformations made in a photo booth. The series invites consideration of the politics of such cosmetic choices. []

Production Note

One of 8 unique framed prints from the series Untitled.

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

C-type process; Photography

Subjects depicted

Self-portraits

Categories

Photographs; African Diaspora; Hair and hairstyles; Portraits; Women's clothes

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.