INTERNATIONAL OPEN AIR PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL
29th July/31st August 2016
opening days 29-30-31 July
text by Arianna Catania. The portrait is your mirror. It’s you. This is what German photographer August Sander used to say, meaning that a portrait is an image where author, model and spectator become one. Anouk Kruithof annuls that relationship, moving away from the subjects’ identities and hiding their faces to discontinue this tradition of portrait photography. Kruithof aim is the creation of anonymous portraits, in which subjects remains private. Since a subject’s face is not revealed, it’s harder to discern someone’s gender, nationality, age let alone someone’s facial expressions or emotions.
While early 20th century portrait photography demonstrated a “positivist” attempt to understanding humankind by classifying human archetypes, Kruithof cancels the identity of models by making them similar to one another, and without subdividing them into temporal or spatial categories. The only valid criterion Kruithof observes is a chromatic one.
AHEAD consists of a collection of 1080 anti-portraits, looking like individual dots or pixels that make up an image. Each photograph was taken with an iPhone and the subjects chose a background color to their own liking when taking a selfie. On the website of AHEAD a specially programmed algorithm arranges the images on a chromatic scale. Kruithof arranges these photos in a grid, just like photos uploaded to social networks appear on our mobile devices. AHEAD seems playful, but is critical of a society obsessed by control. No facial recognition system is able to recognise and identify subjects in these portraits. AHEAD can be seen as a deliberate admission of failure. Anouk Kruithof hints at the fact that humankind will always remain unclassifiable and that there is no such encyclopedia that can bring order into the chaos of humanity.
AHEAD (2014-ONGOING) is an ongoing project consisting of site-specific installations related to the environment in which the project is showed:
The 1st version was a window installation shown at FOUR A.M. New York
The 2nd version is this website: www.ahead.website
The 3rd version will be an exhibition at Gibellina PhotoRoad – International Open Air Photography Festival
The 4th version will be an exhibition at Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City