January 3, 2020

How are the structures of white male privilege maintained and reproduced?

Matt Sillars, 60

A ‘Tissue of Lies’ refers to white male privilege and its insidious power over the structures of society. Although an easily demolished lie, based on a false sense of ‘natural order’, it holds sway in all walks of life. Silk was originally known as a ‘tissue’ and the expression – ‘a tissue of lies’ – alludes to a dense weave of lies which are difficult to penetrate and untangle. This idea, drawn from the complexity of silk fabric, provides a way to examine visually the nature of power relations and identity positions in society. This collection of photographs uses torn tissue paper to draw attention to the construction of identity. The tissue is shown in relation to elements of the natural world and to portraits of white European men, showing the manufacture of identity not as natural, but as ideological. The tissue acts as a visual metaphor, exploring identity as multi layered and complex, and that the narratives of legitimacy and privilege we weave are constructed around power, authority and control. Structures control, constrain and reproduce false notions of legitimacy and resist transgression.

A Tissue of Lies: On White Male Privilege, Photography18x22