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Impressions Gallery

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Impressions on tour: LOVE ME at Durham Art Gallery

Mon, 30th Apr, 2012

Exhibition on tour
Durham Art Gallery, 5 May to 24 June 2012

In LOVE ME, Award-winning photographer Zed Nelson reflects on the cultural and commercial forces that drive a global obsession with youth and beauty.

Over a period of five years Zed Nelson visited eighteen countries across five continents, photographing cosmetic surgeons, beauty queens and bodybuilders alongside everyday teenagers, housewives and businessmen. In this extensive cross-cultural investigation, we see an annual prison beauty contest in a South American penitentiary, Iranians queuing for nose jobs in Tehran and female staff at a Russian nuclear agency competing for the title of‘Miss Atom’.

The project explores a new form of globalisation, where an increasingly narrow Western beauty ideal is being exported around the world like a crude universal brand. Whilst Nelson's subjects appear willing participants in an omnipresent culture of bodily improvement, they might equally be considered hapless victims - at the mercy of larger social forces and locked into an insatiable craving for approval. As the subject’s frailties and pretensions are exposed, so too are we the viewer: our motives for looking, for inspecting, along with uncomfortable reminders of our own vanities and insecurities.

LOVE ME is an Impressions Gallery and Ffotogallery Touring Exhibition.

To read more about LOVE ME click here.

To visit the Durham Art Gallery website click here.

Christopher, 22. Chest wax. J. Sister’s salon. New York, USA ©  Zed Nelson

Christopher, 22. Chest wax. J. Sister’s salon. New York, USA © Zed Nelson