ID: extract from the press release for the exhibition
by Antoni Ferrer, 2014
London-based American artist Sarah Baker's body of work draws from a wide range of popular culture forms such as fashion magazines, television and advertisements. Her goal, though, is ambiguous. Does it have to do with our sometime inevitable attraction to glam culture and wealth or is it a manifest repulsion of it? Probably both, but the point here is the kind of critique she deploys to address the artificial nature of glam and celebrity culture. This kind of critique, which arguably owes much to the Situationists detourement, consists on subverting the strategies used by capitalism that ultimately creates the spectacular reality that we live in. Sarah Baker’s work appropriates such mechanisms and redirects them against capitalism itself so as to undermine it from within. As the artist herself argues, the main goal is to re-enact, within her possibilities, certain forms of spectacle and the way it makes itself real in tabloids and other news media. That is why Sarah Baker’s body of work is Sarah Baker as a brand, as a prop- as an un-real celebrity. From the series “Limousine,” 2007 (photographed by Jet for Vague Magazine) Sarah Baker now showcases “Partridge Fine Art London, Where Royalty Shop)”, 2014, a social experiment in which the created persona of Sarah Baker the celebrity, alongside a copious entourage, visited some of the most exclusive and luxurious shops and boutiques in London. Here, the real and the artificial reach maximum tension. The outcome of the action was that most of the people she interacted with accepted her created persona as authentic and lavished her with all sorts of attention and honors.