Occupied mirrors

The work comes from an on-going interest in photography and in this case a very specific category of’ useful’ photography. I was struck by the images, swingers presented in their adds in ‘Rosie’, a Dutch magazine for swingers. The photographs are from the pre digital age and due to the nature of the images mostly developed and printed by the amateur photographers themselves at home. For me all the flaws and other characteristics of amateur photography are essential to photography. From the framing, blurring, focus, depth, bleakness, tone, etc. Another intriguing aspect was the fact that the people publicised their private parts. This contradiction in terms made them crop the images in such a way that everything that could give away their identity was cropped out of the image. I copied the images as meticulously as possible, keeping the same proportions but only enlarging the found images to a slightly smaller size than life size. I selected those images wherein the figure is facing the camera, even if most of the images are cropped in such a way that there are no faces in the image. The bodies are confronting the viewer. I painted the images in oil on canvas to include/take my responsibility for the image and not ‘pointing a finger’ at someone else. On the inside of the glass I silkscreened the graphical representation of canvas. By doing so I made a distinction between the here and there, between in the picture, behind the ‘screen’ and in front of the picture, the viewer. One can see the figure, oneself standing in front of the framed work in the space of the exhibition or ‘behind the figure in the same space as the figure. The figure and ground have changed places to put it in a formal way. The pictures need to be placed at such a height that the same body parts of the viewer as those depicted are reflected in the glass.
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