365 Perfect Decalibration (2019-2020)A set of five, one of a kind archival prints. Every print comes with embedded Artivive AR video. The prints are embedded in a custom build list of wood, with custom extrusion per test target.
365 Perfect Decalibration is an exploration in beautifying software.
1. Decalibrated Self portrait with USAF1951 Resolution test Tri-bars [46 x 58 cm including black square]
2. Decalibrated Self portrait with quarter Siemens Star and DIY Test Resolution Target for Pixel Resolution [39 x 45 cm with extruding DIY Test Resolution Target]
3. Decalibrated Self portrait with Facial Recognition crosshair [47 x 38 cm including extruding crosshair]
4. Decalibrated Self portrait with Ronchigrams for mirror curvature testing [45 x 58 cm including Ronchigrams]
5. Decalibrated Ariane Shutterstock model with Modulation Transfer Function Tests, Fitz Patrick Scale, Discrete Cosine Transform and Quadrant Pattern registration marks [41 x 37 cm including extruding Modulating Transfer Function Test]
Measurements approximate and do not include custom build list
(please download the Artivive app to see AR content)
In 365 Perfect, Menkman turns to mobile imaging softwares. 365 Perfect is “the best FREE virtual makeup app, period. It’s like having a glam squad in your pocket” - or so states the software.
The options in the app include virtual photo make-up, which has filters such as ‘delete blemishes’, or ‘brighten and soften skin’. It can also deepen the smile, put lipstick or even lip tatoos, enlarge the eyes and make the face slimmer, lift the cheeks, enhance the nose, or resize the lips. And lets not forget to whiten the teeth, add eyelashes, eye liner and eyebrows and finally change the hairstyle.
“I used the app to make myself perfect. not once, not twice, but hundreds of times over, one year long perfection. If everyday I could get just one shade lighter, slimmer cheeks or bigger eyes... how beautiful would I become? By re-saving my newly beautified face every iteration, the artifacts of a re-compressed JPEG and the absurdity of our beautifying standards are amplified incrementally.”
In this humorous, yet discomforting work, Menkman layers the standard features of beautifying software on her own image, enlarging her eyes, deleting blemishes and enhancing features, until the original face is nearly unrecognizable. Over and over, Menkman alters her likeness, seemingly to make herself appear more conventionally beautiful and more “perfect”. Saving her image at every new iteration, she arrives at a re-compressed pixelated JPEG, and a grotesque, if not almost unhuman self-portrait. Presented at the Natalie and James Thompson Gallery in the form of prints, 365 Perfect is not only a powerful commentary on the relationship between mobile technology and the beauty industry, but a careful exploration of generation loss, and the visual artifacts that are created as a result.