Bridget Baker's conceptual artmaking practise diversely spans participatory performance, crafting intricate objects, through to producing and directing extensive photographic stills and installation projects.
Baker has participated in and performed at numerous international group shows since her participation in Graft, on the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale in 1997 in South Africa. These include shows in New York, California, Austin (Texas), Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Gent, Turnhout, Basel, Vienna, Turin, Siena and Berlin. Importantly, Baker was invited to perform at Liste ’05 with her Official BB Mittens Project.
Baker’s work is present in most major art collections in South Africa: Old Mutual, Billiton Board, The South African National Gallery, The Johannesburg Art Gallery, Standard Bank of South Africa, The Universtiy of South Africa and Rand Merchant Bank.
Her performative photographic stills projects are examples of an ongoing body of work that have been developed on locations in Cape Town, Maputo, Delhi, Gent, Durban, Switzerland and Lesotho.
The “characters” she presents are The Blue Collar Girl, the Sunday Morning Wonder Woman, The Maiden and The Transparent Girl. This developing body of work affirms Baker’s fascination with engendering urban myths through staging and documenting public gesture.
Kathryn Smith relates Baker’s layered working process as “a sure, self-reflexive articulation of personal desires and iconographies” where “interpersonal interaction and collaboration are central. Public space has become a site for action, and provides the architecture for her episodic photographic narratives. Baker’s avatars make impossible actions possible, unmasking the alpha-female from the banality of her working/middles class routines.”
The Blue Collar Girl series is an ongoing performative installation project that takes place in different cities throughout the world, and culminates in a triptych - photographic installation piece. The project involves the placement of the character (a creative force and a blue-collar worker) in locations that reflect her dual iconic status. Finally her modus operandi is revealed in the traces she leaves behind to prove her campaign message: Only you can © . This is as much a mark of her existence, as it is encouraging of a liberated ethos.
Bridget Baker is based in Cape Town and works as a concept artist and clothes stylist.
gallery links: www.gallerydiet.com