This is an ongoing project by the artist patricia shrigley looking at demonisation and scapegoating of the poor by the government the establishment the class system in Britain and the media turning people into objects of scorn.
Patricia stills from her artists moving image piece " estateface" in partnership with Vile films; the film is a reflection on eugenics and its history Exploring the idea of pedigree, class labeling the obsession with differences and hierarchy degeneration as in Victorian England the obsession with class and inbreeding. Looking at the anthropologist use of describing and documenting human evolution measuring the human physical characteristics and putting these into categories, the measurement of facial features, facial types and exploring to see if Francis Galton's physical anthropology ideals are still alive. We created and explored imaginary personas from imagined unique illusionary gene pools, this piece is experimental in its process.Shrigley’s work is humorous; she is influenced by surrealist comedy, while at the same time a subversively perceptive mirror on British society and class assumptions. Patricia experimented with still shots and film as an artist, performing, imitating the documentation of humans by photographing and measurements of features by Galton. A darkly humorous look at prevalent stereotypes of white working class women inspired by Francis Galton's anthropometric measuring. Assumptions around genetics and ‘types’ of class and race in this centenary year of the death of Francis Galton. Patricia has been working closely with Dr debbie challis of the Petrie Museum where the film estate face was shown, http://www.ucl.ac.uk/silva/museums/galton/centenary. Looking at the anthropologist use of describing and documenting human evolution measuring the human physical characteristics and putting these into categories, the measurement of facial features, facial types.Exploring the idea of pedigree, class labelling the obsession with differences and hierarchy degeneration as in Victorian England the obsession with class and inbreeding which is still very much alive in the Hierarchy of British society today, similarities to Galton’s physical anthropology stereotypical eugenic ideals which started off in victorian England .
Estate Face, featured in Creating Typecasts: exhibiting eugenic ideas from the past today, published in Museum Management and Curatorship Vol. 28 Issue 1 Dr debbie Challis
The first time I came across Francis Galton’s labeling and documentation of the poor, was at the Hayward gallery (spectacular bodies) I was sicken by the photos of working-class Victorian woman photographed similar to police identification. From this I found out the origins of eugenics and the Victorian view of the poor and so called feeble minded. I started off my idea of the estateface, created a few of the caricatures but was unsure until I came across the Petrie museum and the exhibition Typecast created by Dr Debbie challis, this inspired me to carry on with the project.
film loop/ slide show, estate face December | Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
body-beliefs, estate face slide show with Debbie Challis Wellcome collection