I created the Awake project in early 2012 and posted new selfies until the end of 2015. Though I am no longer contributing new images, the Awake project still exhibits in galleries and shows occasionally. See my artist website for upcoming shows and new work: christinabalch.com
Awake Project Statement
Every morning, I photograph my face as soon as I wake up. It’s a purposeful, self-imposed ritual where I get one shot to document my state of being at that moment. It’s an act that ignores any personal notions of vanity especially as I post each and every photo to the web.
The repetition of my face day after day is my personal record of a simple life activity. Similar to selfie takers all over the world, I am documenting a moment in time with a ubiquitous form of photography. I am discomforted by the act of the selfie, especially when it reinforces outdated standards of beauty. I am drawn to the work by feminist artists of the 1970s who questioned gender stereotypes. A moving and inspiring piece is Eleanor Antin’s Carving: A Traditional Sculpture, where she lost 10 pounds of her own body weight over 37 days and photographed the process scientifically as she lost the weight, making a cultural and societal critique of the pressures women face to be thin and attractive. The Awake series is my way of contributing to this conversation which 40 years later has not lost relevance. This action towards self-discovery allows me to move away from self-judgement and my personal assumptions about how I look best, or how I look at my worst. I invite my audience, my voyeurs, into a banal and unidealized life, into my private moments.
Christina Balch is a multi-media artist interested in the way people define themselves through imagery, especially through the use of mobile technology and self-documentation. Her work has been exhibited in the Boston area and in Los Angeles, and most recently her ongoing project, Awake, was installed at Gallery 263 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at TED@StateStreet in London. Christina’s future projects include exploring portraiture during an artist residency in 2015 in Lesotho, Southern Africa where Christina was a Peace Corps Volunteer in 2007-2009. Her work as an Interactive Producer influences her art making – she focuses on mobile applications and new technology products. Christina is based in Boston and a Southern California native, where her artistic roots formed in response to WACK! Art and Feminist Revolution at LACMA in 2007.