Between Skin and its Environment, the Surface is What We See
This week’s PhotoGenie theme is titled Bare Self.
Through visual stories our curators research the question “How can self-acceptance replace the standards of beauty?”
Human integuments are in constant dialogue with their environment, on the one hand. On the other, they delimit themselves from the latter and form a shield against particular mechanical and chemical influences. A principle of protection and sealing that lends the human surface a certain stability of form, among other properties.
In his digital collages, German photographer Odo Hans reveals new ways of seeing, by touching organic surfaces with technical complexity. Surreal skin landscapes arise, as though skin were appearing before our eyes for the first time. These unfamiliar patterns are a clash of skin mixed with forms and textures from the man-made world of objects. In this work, Hans constructs reality as a self-referential system, in which the subject constantly looks at, feels, steps into itself, walks in its own objective footsteps and is obliged, for a start, to process the gain in information when the spatial body and body space coincide. Hans’ series Epi asks us to question the perception of our subjective reality of skin.
The series consists of images of dense pores, armoured foot calluses and body hair in unexpected areas. Seeing these up-close skin surfaces with their pigment spots, wrinkles or bulge-like unevenness can evoke both a sense of intrigue, as well as discomfort. Within the multi-layered images, the viewer is left in disorder. This clash of forms and textures as a whole results in an investigative game between subject and object.
This project captures the dialogue between skin and its environment. Because, after all, while it may be what’s underneath the skin that counts, the surface is what we see.
About the artist: Odo Hans, born in 1976, is a German artist who deals with the constructions of reality and its normative settings. He performed his first artistic analyses in 2001 during a stay abroad in the Netherlands. Hans lives and works in Cologne.
Let us know what you think in the comments! Our weekly themes always include three photo series by different photographers.
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Written by Noura Oul Fakir