Artist Statement




My work focuses on the the mechanisms and politics of photographic representations of identity. In our society lots of images are made everyday, and a lot of those images are of people. I am fascinated by the common and 'obvious' ways in which portraits are being used: walk into a store, read a magazine, surf on the internet; everywhere are portraits of people.

How do we deal with that? What does it mean to photograph someone? What does it mean to represent someone with a photograph? How can images be used to empower someone? What does it entails to represent someone visually? What does the way we represent people tell us about our behavior and our society? How are portraits commonly used? Can this be questioned?

I am not looking for answers to these kinds of questions. I am explicitly not looking for conclusions or explanations. I want to raise a question, rather than answering one. I want people to become more aware and to question the obvious.

For me, a portrait is not something obvious. My fascination for photographic representation of identity originates from my own family history. Due to missing information on old family portraits of me and my identical twin brother, I do not know whether or not I am looking at a portrait of me, or at a portrait of my brother. A photograph that represents me is not something that I can take for granted.

I examine the possibilities and manifest ways in which portraits are used, and how identity is represented and perceived through photography. This means the focus is mostly on popular culture, the ubiquitous image and its effects on society. Using a consistent conceptual approach, I use the same methods as what I am researching, in a slightly altered way. By doing so, the viewer has a chance to reflect on the topic his/herself, without being forced into an opinion. In that sense my work has an ethical stance, by questioning rather than judging the many ways we visually represent ourselves.


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