Haley Morris-Cafiero is an artist, performer, provocateur, spectator… and a ridiculed female body. Her project Wait Watchers went viral in 2015 when she took pictures of herself on the street – capturing the critical and questioning facial expressions of people passing by. Thousands of people bullied her online.
Her response was The Bully Pulpit. She selected twenty-five of the bullies, looked at their social media profiles, and dressed up to look like their profile picture. She took photographs of herself and inserted transcripts of their bullying comments into the picture. These photographs can never be deleted from the internet.
Wait Watchers did actually attract positive comments: people got in touch and said that the pictures inspired them to make changes in their lives. In Buoyant Force she collaborated with some of them, creating costumes and performances. The images, taken in an underwater tank, present a marginalized body that performs with elegance and beauty. Buoyant Force has not been shown before, so this is its premiere here at the festival.
What Does Invisibility Look Like? is an intricate way of addressing the problem of discrimination in the workplace based on people’s appearance. Since this form of discrimination is caused by the actions of others, the photograph changes when someone interacts with it.
Haley Morris-Cafiero, born in Atlanta, USA, graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in photography and later took an art degree at the University of Arizona. Her book The Watchers was published in 2015 and her second book, The Bully Pulpit, appeared in 2019. She is represented by TJ Boulting Gallery in London and teaches at the University of Northampton.