‘Staged’ do­mes­tic bliss, hen par­ties, anti-art, Mars mis­sion

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

get mar­ried, and have kids. So­ci­ety’s in­struc­tions to women re­main pretty clear. The longer you hold out, the more the pres­sure mounts. ‘When are you go­ing to set­tle down?’ ‘If you wait, you’ll re­gret it later.’ ‘Tick- tock, tick-tock.’ In a tongue-in-cheek en­deav­our to em­brace the life that ev­ery­one is so adamant she should adopt, US pho­tog­ra­pher (and self­de­scribed ‘spin­ster’) Suzanne Heintz staged a se­ries of por­traits of do­mes­tic bliss, en­ti­tled ‘A Life

Once Re­moved’, doc­u­ment­ing her de­light­ful mar­riage to a hand­some man­nequin-man and the joys of rais­ing their pre­cious man­nequin-daugh­ter. ‘It is a self-por­trait,’ Heintz ex­plains. ‘I had to phys­i­cally demon­strate “go­ing through the mo­tions”. If I had mar­ried be­cause it was “time”, I’d be liv­ing by rote, not choice. That’s what I’m crit­i­cis­ing – a life based on out­dated ex­pec­ta­tions. I con­struct these ar­ti­fi­cial scenes of “real” life to ask, “What’s more im­por­tant? That I’m happy, or that the po­si­tion of hus­band and fa­ther is filled in my life?”’

A pic­ture-per­fect life? Pho­tog­ra­pher Suzanne Heintz with her ‘daugh­ter’ and, next page, ‘hus­band’.

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