Façade Revealed

Anja Niemi’s (b. 1976) latest series, Darlene & Me (2014), is an investigation into the perception of the self. The Norwegian photographer was inspired after she found an old suitcase from 1959 belonging to a beautician named Darlene. Aside from make-up samples and brochures, Niemi found a final receipt for two products purchased by Darlene, but then her business folded and she stopped selling cosmetics. This discovery sparked the idea that success in Darlene’s career was blocked only by herself, and this became the starting point for Niemi’s fictional narrative. While renting a house in the Californian desert, alone, she photographed two women constantly together, both of whom are “performed” by Niemi and represent Darlene’s complex relationship with her sense of self. The final works are strikingly constructed, revealing the intricacies of how an individual views their public persona. Niemi is represented exclusively by The Little Black Gallery, London. Her debut publication Photographing In Costume is available now. www.thelittleblackgallery.com.