There is an almost disturbing distance between the subjects of Diana Sosnowska‘s photographs and the viewer, to the point of placing the viewer in the role of unwanted observer.
The protagonist of the shots is the photographer herself, Polish and Italian by adoption, who takes scenic self-shots, posing as an actress inside a film set. In each photo Diana takes on different aspects, starting with the color from her hair, which varies from red to blond and brown.
The clothing, as well as the set the artist prepares, are clearly inspired by the 1950s and the film imagery of the time. The tight pastel-colored dresses enhance the woman’s beauty and silhouette. The hair is voluminous and wavy according to the trends of the time. The woman, like a movie star, becomes the eternal protagonist by always placing herself in the center of every shot.
As within a movie film, Diana Sosnowska wants to communicate to the viewers a narrative, a story, providing details and feelings that the viewer subjectively reworks and reinterprets. The goal behind this intent is to lead the audience to elaborate narratives different from those generally anchored in contemporary visual culture, through a photographic practice that oscillates between vernacular and performative.
The voyeuristic gaze that emerges from the shots is dictated by the viewer’s point of view, which Diana places in the distance, sometimes outside the home, forcing him to observe from the street. Still other times, however, she is inside the house, but watching the scene from another room, sneaking peeks from behind a door or arriving from behind, with the protagonist never looking at the viewer, unaware that she is being watched.
This dynamic creates an anxious atmosphere, a feeling of constant tension on the verge of breaking. The sculptural plasticity of the body, the soft light, and the nostalgic colors place Diana Sosnowska’s photographs in a dimension in which the viewer is unlikely to be comfortable and will experience mixed feelings.
Diana Sosnowska was a guest artist in the group exhibition ImageNation in New York, March 10-12, 2023, curated by Martin Vegas.