Reid+Factor is a collaboration between Margaret Reid Boyer and Jodie Factor. We met in graduate school at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Our photographic work is about the absurdity of the situation that many women continue to find themselves in.
In Mad Habitat, we begin with a woman alone in a home, free from domestic expectation. Against this backdrop she explores her environment anew, in a performance of everyday rituals that is both playful and precarious. The ironing board becomes a set of wings, the tub a tightrope, the wallpaper a confidant, scrambling the function of everyday objects. These endeavors at first appear to be amusing but are permeated by a growing sense of futility.
In Human Woman, the performance continues outside. We created a scaffolding for the female body as a way of making visible the constraints imposed on women which remain omnipresent but unseen. The braces are neither supportive nor protective, but instead reflect the absurdity and instability of her position in the world.
In Old Friends, Reid+Factor reference familiar themes in the lexicon of the male gaze, many of which are common to the point of cliche––women bathing, women as barmaids, women in the garden, girls on couches. The women in these photographs take up their familiar positions, but instead of remaining the passive vessels of erotic visual pleasure that we have come to expect, they actively address their visualization by giving the finger to the viewer. The simple insertion of an obscene gesture, a signifier of aggression, into the frame serves to disrupt these pictorial tropes.
In Mad Habitat, Human Woman, and Old Friends, we visualize the physical manifestations of a socially constructed imbalance of power.