“Michael Jackson at Rainbow’s End theme park”, “Jimi Hendrix fan in Grafton Cemetery” and “Robbie Williams: Live at the Paradice Ice-skating rink, Auckland” are the title and subject of some of the works by photographer Angela Colbert in her exhibition Cult of Fame. The exhibition, on at Manukau City’s te tuhi - the mark, is of 12 photographic works by the Auckland artist.
Photographed over two years in Auckland and the United States of America, the works are a photo-documentary of images concerning fame. Colbert sought out fans, lookalikes, tributes and memorials to famous people and captured them in both colour and black and white. She says ‘I think the most important aspect of my photographs is how in each case these people have integrated aspects of a famous person into the text of their daily lives.’
The artist feels that for many of her subjects, their interest and devotion to the objects of their idolisation is ‘cult-like’. She says ‘these individuals in many ways become living memorials to people they have never met, and their intense devotion to the famous can become the most important feature of their own lives. On a cultural level, its not difficult to see the way in which the cult of fame has superseded the role of religion.’
→ Devotion to stars caught on film, Auckland City Harbour News, 17-08-2001
→ Angela Mihi Colbert: Cult of Fame, 2001, exhibition card