Bridget Baker, The Maiden Perfect, 2005_TNCM Collection

- Born in East London, South Africa, Bridget Baker's conceptual artmaking practise diversely spans participatory performance, intricate crafted objects, and elaborate photographic stills and film projects. Her performative photographic projects have been shot on location in Cape Town, Maputo, Delhi, Gent, Durban, Switzerland and Lesotho, presenting fictional female “characters” like The Blue Collar Girl, the Sunday Morning Wonder Woman, The Maiden and The Transparent Girl. 
In The Maiden Perfect Baker takes on the role of her alter-ego character, The Maiden, shown desperately clinging to the rails of a sinking ship. The protagonist appears very much a fictitious character, an “anonymous woman at the point of her dying as if in a 1950s filmic moment” (Baker, 2005). The dramatic scene is carefully constructed with a wooden deck, complete with shuffleboard motif, a lifesaver and guardrails. However, certain elements disturb the verisimilitude of the image and frame the work as intensely theatrical: a painstakingly embroidered ‘seascape’ backdrop, as well as the hyper-dramatic pose and exaggerated shadows. 
By assuming the role of the subject in this image, Baker uses her own body in a similar vein as artists like Cindy Sherman whose alter-ego characters in her photographs, performances and films called attention to the stereotyping of women in films, television and magazines. Like Sherman, Baker exercises an agency and control in the subjectivity and production of her work.