Discharge by Petra Collins
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In her highly anticipated book, Discharge, New York-based artist and photographer Petra Collins presents images of self-discovery and femininity that explore the emotional, complex intersection of life online and off. Responding to the ubiquity of social media, Collins offers images of unflinching honesty, exploring the privacies and publicities of growing up as a woman at a moment when female bodies are ubiquitously hyper-mediated by Photoshop and social media. “I’m used to being told by society that I must regulate my body to fit the norm,” Collins writes in her introductory essay on censorship and social media. From there, the book deconstructs that norm through her intimate photographs of friends. Discharge includes a discussion between Collins and Tavi Gevinson, moderated by artist K8 Hardy. In that conversation, Collins says that she is “an onlooker rather than the subject.” Collins challenges the notion of spectatorship in an age in which everyone is looking at everyone.