No One Else, from Glynnis Reed's Paper Thin Boundaries series, features a full length self portrait, set in a landscape interlaced with digitally layered images of graffiti. Personal boundaries are reffered to in the work- the psychological space that we use to separate ourselves from one another. Reed indicates this distance between self and the other through the motif of the blindfold and the solitude of the figure. This work engages the invisibility of the black subject who is seen but not seen. At the same time, it appears that this solitary figure chooses not to see. The blindfolded woman in the photo seems to be free to remove the blindfold herself- but doesn’t. In using the graffiti imagery that merges with the landscape surrounding the figure, the artist draws on the expression of quiet, divergent voices that call out anonymously, as cries for help or contestation, or as powerful assertions of self and identity.
Using her own body in the work, and Reed is identifying with this need to give voice to one’s identity through visual representation. The source material for these digital collages are the many photographs of graffiti- tagging, sgraffito, handwriting on walls, murals in addition to natural landscapes and self portraits the artist took in Austria and Paris during an artist residency.
Putting herself in front of the camera brings a form of performativity to her process of digital photography giving Reed a different level of control of the figure within the frame and adding a signification of biomythography, of black woman as artist and subject in the work. Through representations of the black female body, landscape, and urban graffiti, I explore identity and place via relationships with the self in the shifting physical, social, and psychological geographies of the city and nature.