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Image of Applicant Photos (Migrants) #2 38276


Stephanie Syjuco (Manila, Philippines, 1974 - )


Applicant Photos (Migrants) #2

Creation Date



early 21st century


3 1/2 x 4 1/4 in. (8.89 x 10.8 cm)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, United States

Medium and Support

pigmented inkjet print on paper

Credit Line

Museum Purchase, The Philip Conway Beam Endowment Fund


This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

Stephanie Syjuco’s Applicant Photos (Migrants) #2 interrogates the system through which immigrants must document themselves in order to transition from one nation to another. In so doing, she offers a critique of the political regime of the face supported through the widespread use of photographic identification credentials. Her images, which deliberately cover the face in a fabric meant to evoke “colonial” materials, offer a spirit of resistance precisely through their appropriation of western textiles, often sold cheaply in first-world countries due to the exploitation of labor in countries with less robust economies. In a final, twist, Syjuco has turned the camera on herself to create these images, producing a “selfie.” Through this act, Syjuco draws attention not only to the ubiquity of a narcissistic impulse to picture the self, but the way in which such actions blur with the more deeply engrained structure of surveillance as a political tool of control.

Object Description

Per Curator: Syjuco notes that “Applicant Photos (Migrants)” “was developed in conjunction with the larger photographic series, ‘Cargo Cults’, which was produced in Omaha, NE.

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