Models of Being an Accessory

Models of Being an Accessory is a hybrid body of work engaging with the intersecting, conflicting and diverse fields of (self-) portraiture, photography, autobiography and fashion. The work is based on an unpublished memoir, Bags: Over the Umbrian Moon written by a friend, in which she describes seven years of leading and organising the production of counterfeit designer handbags, sold in the so-called parallel market. The handbag’s production process begins to form the basis for understanding how the female body too, is culturally constructed, following representational conventions.

Models of Being an Accessory comprises an eponymous film, an extended essay, photographs, as well as ceramics. The film uses appropriated footage shot by the Italian brands Cooper-van Ingen’s subject and collaborator counterfeited (Prada, Gucci, Fendi) and layers them into the phantasmagorical landscape of visual research and (self-) image production.