Not currently on display at the V&A

Untitled

Photograph
1995 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
C-type print
Brief Description
Photograph by Maxine Walker from the series Untitled, C-type print, 1995
Physical Description
A framed colour photograph of a woman with curly black hair, wearing pearl earrings and a white blouse with a large collar that has frilled edges picked out by black stitching. The woman is turned sideways with her face looking out to her left.
Dimensions
  • Width: 20in
  • Height: 24in
Style
Production typeUnique
Gallery Label
  • 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.
Credit line
Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund
Object history
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.
Production
One of 8 unique framed prints from the series Untitled.
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.

Associated Objects
Collection
Accession Number
E.306-2013

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record createdFebruary 7, 2013
Record URL