NOT CONCEPTUAL. LIFE.

From German photographer Catherine Lieser, a series of black & white diptychs that portrays artists who move beyond stereotypical and social role models.  Instead, they are guided by their own convictions. 

Taking inspiration from iconographic photographs of recent decades, such as those of Herb Ritts, Leni Riefenstahl and Douglas Kirkland, each diptych is contextualize with a new narrative.


Unrest, conflict and war begin on the inside of us.
When we understand that we are allowed to appear outwardly
as we feel on the inside, we are balanced.
In the truest sense of word.
When we are able to perceive our needs and fulfill them,
we fill ourselves with joy, gratitude, relaxation, security ...
And are instantaly able to create this also on the outside of us.

 

In preparing the series, Catherine Lieser accompanied eight artists in their daily professional life, taking two documentary photos and a portrait on location, as well as two additional portraits and a short moving image clip of each artist in the photo studio.

 

"Ariana Gansuh refuses the sexualization of Asian women. To make that visible Ariana breaks with the pose of Cindy Crawford in a Herb Ritts photography and adopts a warlike attitude instead."

 

"Coremy is a performance comedienne who, contrary to female beauty dictates, does not shave. I used images from Leni Riefenstahl's OLYMPIA series as a template to express Coremy's playful nature. Sport is playful in the truest sense of the word. Athletes move with ease. In her own way Coremy floats above stereotypical guidelines with her own kind of humour."

 

"I portrayed Kelly Heelton in a very masculine pose, in which kings already were and modern superheroes still are staged. While showing her feminine side at the same time, I break or complement the ideal idea of masculinity."

 

"The pictures of Julakim are based on a picture of a Marylin Monroe picture by Douglas Kirkland. To make visible that Julakim refuses a 'classic sexualizing pose', in these portraits she refuses to pose at all."

 

"I took my cue from the staging of great stage divas to introduce Miss Shangri-Lah as just that. I wanted to break this staged aloofness with actual aloofness. On the second picture I show her on eye level, without contact lenses and with half taken off costume, in a relaxed posture."

 

"For the portraits of Jazz Cortes, I reinterpreted the Mark Whalberg's advertising image for Calvin Klein by interweaving it with depictions of modern advertising images for female hair care products. My intention was to have stereotypical gender." representations blend into one another.

 

 

The full series will be exhibited at Unperfekthaus in Essen, Germany in November 2021.