Dawn Woolley’s performative self-portraits address the social constructs of identity, femininity, and sexuality, and how she, herself, fits into these roles as both a female and an artist. Woolley’s photos wittily analyze the line between being sexual and sexualized.
In ‘The Substitute’ Woolley replaces her real self with a photographic flat copy of her body. In this way she strips away her personal complexity, and objectifies herself as a sexualized female. In ‘Visual Pleasure’ her technique is reversed; she becomes the only real model posing amongst a world of flat props. Woolley suggests that her struggle to balance and support the erotic flat set is symbolic of females’ struggle, to support the illusion of sexuality that society has placed them in.