Say Yes

by Joseph Desler Costa

In an era marked by both hyper-connectivity and hyper-isolation, Say Yes is a sharp examination of the culture of commerce we inhabit. The book serves as a mirror to our smoothed-over, technologically-driven psyche, blurring the lines between individual identity and consumerism. Weaving a tapestry of fragmented narratives and folding commercialism inward by adopting the sleek rhetorics of visual advertising photography, Joseph Desler Costa delves into questions on how ego and identity are shaped by commerce and desire. How much of our desires are truly ours? How entangled are we with the economy of things? Who are we in a complex world governed by consumerism?
Breaking away from conventional photobook form, Say Yes employs physical cutouts that puncture the pages to disrupt the authority of individual images and their influence on the viewer. The book’s dynamic presentation incorporates typographic design and lines of text, bringing together an ambiguous narrative that accompanies the visual journey like lyrics to a song. This unique integration of language, image, design, and sculpture creates a visually charged aesthetic system that draws from autobiographical, fictional, and tongue-in-cheek appropriations of seductive commercial aesthetics. A tennis racket, a cold beer, a pretty cat, an inflatable flamingo, a fresh pair of kicks, a fast motorcycle – these isolated fragments form part of a larger, disjointed whole. To the artist, they represent personal memories and promises, each shimmering with allusions to comfort, pleasure, prestige, and escape.