No.39: Tragedy, Polly Brown, Hato Press, 2023, 14 x 20 cm, 16 pages, PB
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Modern life is sprinkled with moments of melodrama. Tragedy is a zine by artist Polly Brown, created to call our relationship with emotional performance into sharp relief. In this tragicomic portrait series, the artist invites ten actors to cry on cue. Full shiny tears and quiet strangled sobs ensue. Falling somewhere between the aesthetics of internet stock imagery and thespian headshots, the series asks the question: is there something to be gleaned from forcing tears?

Polly Brown is a British artist working primarily with photography and film. Her work often looks afresh at familiar scenes and objects, subverting our expectations about what they are or do with her signature wry sense of humour and a playful perspective. Sensitive, subversive and occasionally illicit, she takes on liminal spaces from hotel rooms to airports, art galleries to holiday resorts. Polly lives and works in London. 

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