Tracey Moffatt’s series Scarred for Life I and Scarred for Life II explore the bleakness and trauma of both fictional and real moments from childhood and adolescence, highlighting racial, social, and sexual issues.
Moffatt grew up in a world shaped by increasing connectedness, thanks to the heightened accessibility of media. TV news and publications such as Life and Time magazines exposed viewers and readers to people, places, and cultures they would not have encountered in earlier eras. The text/image layout of Moffatt’s series follows a format similar to that of magazines that styled themselves as documentary representations of the late 20th century. Moffatt inserts into this format her scenes of cruelty, expanding the diversity of late 20th-century experience. Her images encourage us to challenge assumptions: we don’t know what happens behind closed doors.
—Eve Kreshtool ’23, Curatorial Intern
From the exhibition: Where Words Falter: Art and Empathy (July 9 – December 18, 2022)