Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The "Human Condition" series

Human Condition:

This series of photographic self-portraits is about existential anguish and alienation, and also an attempt to emphasize the human factor in a deadening commodified society. The nude body functions as a metaphor for truth and honesty; being naked (in a metaphoric sense) means that you are not hiding anything, that you are not pretending. The images hint that by facing isolation, darkness and negativity one can ultimately find light, spirituality, a purpose in life. As Soren Kierkegaard once said:

In order to swim one takes off all one's clothes-in order to aspire to the truth one must undress in a far more inward sense, divest oneself of all one's inward clothes, of thoughts, conceptions, selfishness etc., before one is sufficiently naked. [1]

This work can be seen as a reaction against the anti-values, nihilism, easy consumption and immorality that commodity culture has imposed on us. It is also a reaction against postmodern art/ theory and a way of restoring the importance of subjectivity and personal expression -which were undermined by movements such as poststructuralist postmodernism and theorists such as Roland Barthes who declared the “death of the author” [2]. This work should not be seen only as an aesthetic object and cultural artifice, but also as an expression of its author. Konmark believes that in this highly competitive and alienating society we live in there is a need to focus on the Individual, and therefore creates art which is of a highly personal nature-ultimately becoming transpersonal.

[1] Moire, E. C. (ed.) (2002) Provocations : Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard. Available at www.plough.com/ebooks/pdfs/Provocations.pdf

[2] Barthes, R. (1977) ‘The Death of the Author’ in Stephen Heath (trans. &ed.) Image-Music-Text. Fontana.

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