Outlies – Body Images. Introduction.
Here's a house. It stands freely in an open field, with a tree nearby.
Winds are blowing. I see it from afar. I recognise it, because it has
four walls, a roof and windows.Perhaps someone is living in there.
I walk across and knock, try and see if there's anybody here. Coming closer,
I realise that the house is leaning awkwardly to one side. The walls are out of shape, the door is stuck, some windows are barred. This house is a body.
A disabled body. Housing a person.
What do you see when your glance encounters the body of another?A person, deeply personal? A composition of limbs; a diversity of forms, vividly alive? A living image? A small segment of an individual biography, or: a representative of a more-than-just-individual way of living human life?
— What if this foreign body is marked by a disability?
The Project.In many instances, a disabled body only recalcitrantly gives room to the person living in it. His – or her – personality expresses itself less spontaneously in it. Movements become insecure, meaningful actions stagnate. Body coutures appear dishevelled, contorted and confusing. The personal body image of “one-self” diverges from the the outer image. There is enormous social pressure to “deal with this correctly“. Encounters are getting into trouble.
In OUTLIES, we are on the lookout for aesthetic approaches to a body with a severe motor disability of neuromuscular origin – with this body, and beyond this body.
The OUTLIES portfolio compiles a selection of over 30 pictures, comprising digital body photographs, nudes and close ups, as well as abstract compositions, digital collages and paintings.
These images allow for more irritated, intense, or even intimate, glances than “usual” situations: these are pictures that allow to observe, to pose questions and come into closer contact – or keep one's distance.
The core of the project consists of more than 300 studio photographs. In the months and years after the original photo session, creative transformations, augmented and alienated variations or collages (P.C.T), as well as translations into paintings have emerged. These elaborations convey bodily sensations and sensitivities, world images, and fantasies.
Impairment-based variations of forms are not invariantly beautiful, but they occasionally can be in their own fragile and surprising manner.
Those who seek to recognise their chances at beauty will have to look for them. Those who want to foster their emancipation as equal expressions of human diversity amidst a humane society will need to think about precise means and ways to reach these goals.Our project does not aim to present an augmented, enriched picture of disabled people in general – or of this individual disabled person we portray, individually. Neither do we intend to formulate a specific political statement on disability issues and accessibility, or postulates for better social arrangements. We want to keep thinking and pursue new ways of thought.
Feel free to contact us with questions or suggestions – or for a closer look at some of the pictures.
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