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. Her monograph, The Watchers, was published in 2015 by the Magenta Foundation. Morris-Cafiero is an photography professor and lives in Tennessee. She is represented by TJ Boulting gallery in London.
2017 Grant Application
Haley Cafiero-Morris' goal with her new project is to solidify her position as a performative photographer in the contemporary art world. Becuase most people saw her first project, "Wait Watchers," in the mainstream media before they saw it in an art context, many collectors and museums will not purchase her work. A second project will reinforce her abilities as an artist and someone who is pushing the boundaries of art.
The new project, "In the Time of Trump," is being considered for collection by the Tate Modern Museum in London.
In my latest photo series, "In the Time of Trump," I investigate the social phenomenon of cyberbullying in the age of President-elect Donald Trump. For years, people have been hiding behind their computer screens to bully others, but the popularity and subsequent election fo Trump have given some credence to mete out their abusive acts when the leader of the most powerful nation in the world uses the internet to bully those he finds weaker than he.
I photograph myself costumed to look like the people who have attempted to cyberbully me. I use my cyberbullies weapon of choice, the internet, to find photographs of my them and I recreate their visage using wigs, clothing and simple prosthetics. The imperfection in my creating their image mirrors their false belief that the internet will shield their identity. The transcript of their bullying comment is positioned in the image for their world to witness. It is not important for the viewer to know the name of the cyberbully; but the bully will know it is them when they see the image.
The inspiration for this project came from the response that I received when my project "Wait Watchers" was published with viral fervor in hundreds of articles around the world. Thousands of people wrote bullying comments about me in the form of emails, tweets, instagram posts, blogs and online comment sections. I started archiving the comments and realized that if I were to respond to these people in writing, my words would be ignored or written to deaf ears. But images live on the internet forever. Social media and online articles and blogs will ensure that an image-based response would be seen by millions and would live again and again.
Each image in the series is produced in a way to look like the profile and image that I have found online for the bully. I purchase wigs, prosthetics, and clothing for each image. The location for each photograph is scouted to meet the scene in the bully's online photo as close as possible.
Visit Haley's website to see her current project.