Exploring identity – I do it through alter egos who visually represent parts of me. The body has become a focus of my exploration. Society fixates on what the body means, we identify others and ourselves over it. Through photography I seek to show the limits of the body as a marker of identity and aspire to gain a feeling of control over my own body and image. Koerper Grenz Kontrollen as a project is a quest for personal self-exploration as well as based on a theoretical approach in which I considered relevant media and gender theory looking at the connection of body and identity in this modern world.
In the past, I’ve been doing portrait work in which I’ve been attempting to visually explore different perceptions of what femininity looks like. To me, softness and beauty are not shameful words. However, I do like to incorporate disruptive or distorting elements into the work that negate an attempt at a traditional beauty image and as such point out the artificiality of a concept of the feminine that is solely based on those limiting characteristics.
With my self-portraits, I explore more than general concepts – I explore myself. My relationship to the body that I’ve been given, the limits of identification over the physical body (How do the physical features of my body correlate with gender identity? Why does my body image constitute how I position myself in society and in relation to others?) and the control over my body that I feel like I’m in a constant fight for to gain back. I also inspect the more literal borders of my body when I capture microscopic images of my skin’s surface.
The video work HAUTGRENZEN represents the body on a physical level. Microscopic images show the surface of the skin as the border of the body. The close proximity from camera to skin constitutes in the images becoming abstracted and being removed from their original contexts. The work has been created in collaboration with the sound artist ANDY COWLING (www.andycowling.com) who took up the visuals’ impression of texture as well as intimacy and deconstructed pop-esque songs into a sound piece that sonically moves through momentary impressions of emotional states such as intimacy, artificiality, excitement, disappointment, joy and loneliness. The visuals have then been arranged to follow rhythm and story of the sound. Ultimately, neither imagery nor audio find a conclusion and keep trying to find meaning in a cycle of repetition.
Koerper Grenz Kontrollen is an experimental, open-ended project. It’s results have been exhibited for the first time in December 2021 at Kunstraum 53, Hildesheim.
Curated by: Mera Dorin, Selina Hillebrand, Clara Schamp, Lukas Gutsfeld
Thank you to the sponsors who made this project possible: Kulturcampus-Projektförderung der Sparkasse Hildesheim Goslar Peine, AStA Uni Hildesheim, Kunstraum 53