'Say My Name'

by Eva Zar

Photography | January 29 2017

Staging ourselves on a daily basis on social media has become the new normal. We create the personalities we want to be. We curate pictures and videos of everyday moments that are not necessarily true to the reality of our daily routine. Every picture, every video, every caption has to be perfect—a virtual oil painting. Our social-media accounts have become our personal exhibition spaces; we are the artists, the curators, the technicians. We are the lights, the frames, the captions. In a time when we are told we’re never alone, we tend to believe that privacy vanishes from post to post. The intimacy of taking pictures of intimate moments disappears because we focus on taking a picture for our audience and their reactions—hearts, likes, comments—and no space remains for capturing the natural, the raw, real life.

Portraying people in private and comfortable moments, New-York based photographer Zar documents that space, an offline space outside of social media.

In her world, her subjects’ phones are part of the set design, their beds and rooms become stages and studios. Her subject “are quietly experts in lighting and painting their nails, in knowing their bodies. In a culture where these skills are often seen as frivolous, where femininity is associated with weakness, such a depiction feels inherently political—an assertion that even in our most private moments, those of us who practice and perform femininity carry with us a specific, powerful understanding of our visual personalities. It is especially powerful that Zar shows that femininity is not just for bodies typically classified as female. She says that she doesn’t want to make this kind of relationship with femininity seem abnormal, but rather, feels its important for her work to be situated in a climate in which gender is beginning to be understood as amorphous and shifting“, as Paper Magazine wrote.

Eva Zar is an artist/curator with Russian roots, who grew up in Vienna, Austria. She moved to New York in 2016, where she currently lives and breathes. Awarded a Michael C. Toth scholarship and a Provost scholarship she started her Master of Fine Arts with a major in photography at the renowned Parsons School of Design in 2016. Her roots influence her on a daily basis, shaping her workflow and style. Zar also has an obsession with fruits, good conversations, and inappropriate daily life details. Her diverse roster of clients includes Audi, Coca Cola, Ecco, i-D magazine, Indie magazine, Left Boy, Warner Music Germany, Vice and many more.

Her artwork has been shown in numerous places around the globe. Furthermore Eva Zar was featured in magazines such as Bitchslap, Broadly, Designtaxi, Fubiz, i-D, Paper, Sand & Such and many more.

She was also named to be one of the “20 most interesting photographers of Austria“ by The Gap magazine.

Right now, Eva Zar is continuing her MFA at Parsons and releasing her first book called “Say My Name“.
Her book is a selection of her works from 2015 and 2016. Zar captures everybody around her, who spend much of their lives online. She exposes and celebrates the background work that goes into virtual performances. Exploring the intense and fragile moment of people before the staging of a selfie, the messy room that gets cropped out of the frame, and the way we create personal space when nobody watches, Zar takes photographs of intimate realities that no one sees when viewing a social media feed.

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