Game Theory - 2023 

Game Theory is a series of digital collages made from film images I photographed between 2020 and 2023. The series explores themes of success and performance as they relate to heterosexuality and gender norms in American culture. Images were curated based on their formal and conceptual relevance, then digitally composited to create each collage. Reconstructed, the source imagery no longer functions as intimate snapshots taken of myself and my partner; instead, the compositions narrate the experiences of and relationship between a male and female character as they interact with each other, their environment, and the viewer.

In each collage, the male figure concentrates on a game while a female figure gazes out of the pictorial frame in passive and repetitive poses. Her direct eye contact activates each image, confronting the viewer and inviting them to speculate on the interaction. The figures are shown in varying opacities and in different environments, engaging with one another through only the games he is playing, if at all.

In this series, I examine how feminine and masculine ideals around sex, violence, and money establish power dynamics in romantic relationships. The male figure demonstrates his value through his physical and financial prowess, while the female figure defines hers through her submission and sexual desirability. The figures are commodities, used by each other as measurements of their individual success. The relationship functions as evidence of this success, but only when the other performs equally well. In their performances, transaction replaces romance as they compete for validation.

Game Theory was exhibited at the Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries at the University of Memphis from November 17th through December 8th, 2023. 

Installation View

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Using Format