Van de Camp & Heesterbeek – Photography – The Netherlands
Aesthetics, identity and estrangement. An important starting point for our work is portrait photography. The nature of portrait photography is capturing someone’s appearance at a certain moment in time. Mostly from one positions or viewpoint.
In these days of the selfie the importance of portrait photography on social media is growing stronger and stronger. One wants to picture oneself as advantageously as possible, resembling the ideal image of oneself as closely as possible. This search for perfection is more and more at odds with reality. Profile pictures on dating sites are often not truthful, Snapchat has filters to enhance the symmetry of the face, on Instagram everybody appears to be happy in a perfect life. These are the aspects we investigate in our work.
We investigate the aesthetic principals of symmetry in face and body by subtracting and adding. A classic view on beauty tells us that perfect beauty is only then reached when nothing more can be subtracted or added. Could this mean that only half of a face is enough when a face should have perfect symmetry? According to Plato, reality to us is only momentary, weary of wear and old age. Capturing a moment of reality with a photograph can therefore only depict a imperfect reflection of the idea of perfect beauty.
Through means of digital manipulation we want to change that moment of reality to become a timeless esthetic image. Not only do we alter the appearance of our subject, we also create a new reality for them. We try to catch time and space by drastically altering them. Sometimes by teleporting the subjects to another as they become astronauts. Something by combining several moments and views into one image. We give our subjects their own reality bubble. With this we are constantly touching the borders of aesthetics, identity and estrangement. Always looking for a timeless and universal image referring to the collective image memory of iconic images. This is a way to deny time.
In our work portrait photography becomes timeless and dynamic. Real persons become fictitious in a new reality. A reality where aesthetics are the basis of all things visible.