NYC photographer Enid Crow’s newest body of images continue to be based around playing with the contortion of her own self image. However, she has pushed her own personal artistic boundries within this format into new territory by choosing to create self portrait characters that are (seemingly) happy. In her previous series, most notably the Disaster photographs, her characters were caught in what is perhaps the worst moments possible: the moment immediatly preceding tragedy. In Happy Workers, Crow has instead chosen to comment on life, and the choices we make (or are forced to make) about how we spend 40 hours a week of that time. The characters are not having tragedy happen to them, instead it would seem that there happiness is the tragedy.
Each of the image in Happy Workers is a “snap-shot” of an employee melodramatically smiling in front of their place of employment. Included below each photograph is an overwhelming positive quote from the character about the job they do. Most of the jobs Crow has chosen to base an image around would be considered lower end jobs (retail, server, blue collar). Crow gives no commentary about whether these images are meant to be read as a positive, scathing, or a simply sarcastic response to the current conditions of most working class jobs. Based on the almost cartoonish nature of most of the images as well as the unrealistically perky wording of the quotes though, it would seem that Crow’s commentary falls more with the latter.
To see the entire collection of photographs, head over to Enid Crow’s website.
To read an article I wrote for Gaycondo about her previous series, click here.
Click thumbnails for full image.