In this always-switched-on digital era, there has never been more pressure to look good. It's no surprise there are so many image-enhancing apps out there, helping us to achieve perfection with our selfies.
But sometimes, these "trusted" tools can mess up, leaving us with glitched and distorted imagery that takes away rather than improves our carefully-posed portraits. It's this modern phenomenon of digital failures and bugs that Warsaw-based artist Ewa Doroszenko recreates for her new series, Body Editor.
"While the Internet can seem like a place disconnected from the physical world, much of the activity that occurs there deeply affects how people feel outside of it," says Ewa. "In the age of social media, where selfhood is effaced by self-promotion, and the glorification of digital beauty undermines the truthfulness of real self-expression, women very often become dissatisfied with what they see in the mirror.
"Modern technology provides women with tools that allow them to quickly create dream digital image of themselves. Using various beauty applications, they can smooth, contour their faces, whiten their teeth, add a few centimetres of height, enlarge their eyes, choose different mouths, and use many other options. In this series, I try to challenge our trust of digitally constructed imagery in the context of the post-photographic era."
Ewa used photography as a starting point, alongside digital tools to create expressive artworks that are both a critique and a celebration of the ongoing progress in contemporary technology and culture.
She employed many methods of creating the images: preparing three-dimensional collages constructed from stock images and her portraits, photographing the scenes, printing in large sizes, physically manipulating prints, and digitally editing selected photos.
In the final work, Ewa left visible traces of digital processing, partly revealing her working methods to provoke discussion about digital beauty. "Digitally edited images can serve as aspirational fantasies and occasionally they even can have a positive impact – when they are just effects of joyful entertainment. But can the game in which your body is a battleground be truly enjoyable?" Ewa adds.