Joy, Fear, Surprise, Sadness, Trust and Anger

In a world projecting itself through imagery, photography has become an omnipresent representation of reality. Images are an inevitable part of daily encounters largely sustaining our capitalist economy — a consistent background of our subconscious environment. Images surrounding us are often made underneath the rule of image-making industries, such as stock photography. Companies like Getty Images have often been criticised regarding its generic image production.

Later, these images used in articles, insurance websites and travel brochures sell us models of behaviours, directing us how to express our emotions, desires and frustrations. Nevertheless, this leads to communication-based infrastructures having the power to aggregate emotions into manufactured visual modes. Agencies like Shutterstock obtain legal visual property that consists of millions of still images used for publishing. 

Joy, Fear, Surprise, Sadness, Trust, Disgust and anger is an exploration of 6 basic emotions through a proximity of 33 000 stock images. Aligned together each obtaining a space of less than a centimetre they paint an overarching aesthetic defined by the stock, accumulating into a synopsis ample with indexical signs. Nonetheless, images are big enough for the viewer to engage at close.

Annija Muižule 2021