Haley Morris-Cafiero: The Bully Pulpit
Several years ago, Artist Haley Morris-Cafiero created a project, Wait Watchers, where she captured public reactions to her physical self as a way to reverse the gaze between the objectified and the objector. The series garnered tremendous attention, and a book under the title, The Watchers.
Her new series, The Bully Pulpit, was inspired by, as Haley states,”the countless number of people who wrote mean-spirited comments about me in emails, tweets, Instagram posts, blogs and online comments sections when Wait Watchers was published online and went viral. But instead of responding individually to “deaf ears,” I realize that I can parody the bullies attempts by creating images and publishing them on the internet —the same vehicle used for their attacks—and the images would be seen by millions, and would live again, again, and again”.
This important project on cyberbullying is being published by Fall Line Press and Haley has created a Kickstarter campaign to help her raise funds (and awareness) to make the book a reality. Her goal needs to be met by January 2, 2019, so please consider supporting her goal today!
Part performer, part artist, part provocateur, part spectator, Haley Morris-Cafiero explores the act of reflection in her photography. Morris-Cafiero’s photographs have been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, and have been featured in numerous newspapers, magazines and online including Le Monde, New York Magazine and Salon. Born in Atlanta, she is a graduate of the University of North Florida, where she earned a BA in Photography and a BFA in Ceramics in 1999. Nominated for the Prix Pictet in 2014 and a 2016 Fulbright finalist, Morris-Cafiero holds a MFA from the University of Arizona in Art. The Magenta Foundation published her monograph, The Watchers, in 2015. Morris-Cafiero is a photography lecturer at Ulster University and lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Bully Pulpit
In my latest photo series, The Bully Pulpit, I investigate the social phenomenon of cyberbullying through the public profiles of people who attempt to bully me. For years, people have been hiding behind their computer screens to bully others to the point where writing criticizing comments is common and celebrated. These cowards use the internet to bully those they find weaker than themselves.
I photograph myself costumed like the people who’ve attempted to bully me. Finding photos online, I recreated their images using wigs, clothing, and simple prosthetics, while small imperfections mirror the fallacy that the internet will shield their identities. Finally, I overlay the parodies with transcripts of the bullying comments, almost as if I were “subtweeting” them.
My inspiration for The Bully Pulpit was the countless numbers of people wrote mean-spirited comments about me in emails, tweets, Instagram posts, blogs and online comments sections when Wait Watchers was published online and went viral. But instead of responding individually to “deaf ears,” I realize that I can parody the bullies attempts by creating images and publishing them on the internet —the same vehicle used for their attacks—and the images would be seen by millions, and would live again, again, and again.
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