SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS AND OUR REAL NEEDS IN THE WORK OF SUZANNE HEINTZ

© Suzanne Heintz, 2015

This essay focuses on philosophical and sociological concepts related to notions of commitments, marriage, family and fulfilment, especially in women’s lives, as the subjects of Suzanne Heintz’s artistic practice. This American conceptual photographer and video maker documents the “life” of her artificial family of mannequins – Chauncey and Mary Margaret, the husband and daughter respectively – expressing social criticism through satirical means and reaching an audience via social media.

‘This is a weird time in Women’s History,’ says Heintz. ‘Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased as punch that I was born when I was. I have more choices and opportunities than any generation of Women before me, but our roles have never been more complicated by deeply ingrained mixed messages, from both previous and present generations (…) We are somehow never enough, just as we are. (…) We are constantly set up by our expectations to feel as though we are missing something. I thought it was high time to call this nonsense out publicly, because this notion of insufficiency is not just about me, nor exclusively about Women in regard to Marriage. It’s about anyone whose life doesn’t look the way it “should.”‘ (from Life Once Removed)

‘Social Expectations and Our Real Needs’

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