BODY MESS IS PART OF THE E-PORTFOLIO CALLED MAGICAL SOUP AND PART OF MY MASTER'S DEGREE.
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE PORTFOLIO HERE.
When I first thought about issuing an open call for my project, it didn’t quite feel right. Instead, I started with myself. I began questioning how I perceived my own body, other bodies and staged bodies. Every single time, I came to the same realisation: BODY MESS!
Of course I knew that wherever I’d share this project – be it online or offline – I’d always only reach a tiny fraction of society and obviously just the small bubble I created for myself. When I realised an open call could also be an invitation, I began communicating it as such. “Inviting” someone sounds much better than “calling” someone, and at the end of the day, I am not obliging anyone to participate. The participants should be people who feel the project resonates with them and want to participate because they feel like it. In total, I receive 67 photos. The majority is sent to me via Instagram, some photos reach me via WhatsApp (groups) and Telegram, and a small fraction by word of mouth. Given that my Instagram account has 50.000 followers, the small number of people, the “bubble”, that react to my project speaks for itself.
What I find remarkable is that people are already giving me positive feedback without having seen any sort of result. I receive photos from Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, England, the USA and South Africa. I asked everyone to send me photos in the original Instagram image format 1:1. Over the past years, this format for feed posts has been expanded to other formats, but for me, personally, it still captures the essence of this platform. Also, rather than me picking and choosing details of their photos later on, I wanted the participants to consciously compose their own pictures. Afterwards, I printed the photos in the format 1:1, 10 cm x 10 cm. This square format reminds the viewers that they are only seeing a mere fraction of a whole – a whole that could never be captured in its entirety. The squares are pixels, and only together can they form a full picture.
Originally, I had planned to create a wall collage of the photos, building an abstract body made of pixels. However, it quickly became clear that I wouldn’t be doing the project justice by simply placing photos on a wall. I felt that it needed more than that and thus decided to attach the photographs to my own body: Collecting all the pictures on a new analogue platform meant offering a physical space to showcase the physicality of other human beings. The pixels naturally merge into one entity, a new whole. My body and I absorb the characteristics of others whilst at the same time connecting all participants with each other.
translated by pauline wick