My practice is focusing on neo-masculinity and the transitions of power structures in our hyper-digitalized society. Operating within the media of analogue black and white photography, silk-screen printmaking and video, my works raise questions around contemporary gay sexuality in relation to corporate ideologies and market-driven persuasion.
I use an old analogue 35mm Praktika camera from my East German childhood to either capture images of my immediate surroundings - gay fetish fairs, bars and parties, friends and lovers - or I appropriate images from queer punk fanzines that I copy, re-arrange and then re-photograph from my laptop screen. The captured and scanned images are then printed with an industrial mirror ink on large transparent acrylic glass sheets, and installed with steel rods in the gallery space.
Central to my practice is the undisguised and frequently experimental use of mirroring, which draws the viewer’s attention to the images’ photographic artifice, complicating the experience of looking at a subject, while also engendering a mystifying effect.
My photographs explore the possibility that control might stem from a marginalized position, that the role of the pictorially objectified, the consumed image, might in fact posess power. In thinking of photography this way, I am able to bring together and embrace the contradictions that photographic production generates: in its accelerated gratification of desire and simultaneous displacement of its subjects by the resulting image-objects.
Furthermore, I want to draw the public eye to the ongoing process of commercialization of masculinity in relation to a distorted gay male self-image. Not only has the media defined what constitutes a "beautiful" gay man, but the damage increased as the media became a major part of gay culture. Once the media's influence spread into every outlet of gay social life, its standard of beauty strongly dictated the gay self-image, commercial desires, and the categorization of the self. As a constant reminder, gay men are bombarded with images of achievable body transformation, stereotyping and continuous comparison. My works seek to question those idealized gay male body images and examine the core of this process, “behind“ the images.
By positioning the viewer between his own reflection and the images reflecting back, I aim to strip off fetishized surfaces from the mainstream conscience. Furthermore, I seek to address pressing questions about photographic production, the inseparability of the self-image and the public image, as well as the self-fetishization of gay identity today.