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A  Very Still-life

Updated: May 30, 2020

© Mathery Studio

Our home has been transformed into a personalised ecosystem of work, play, pleasure, exercise, learning, cooking, celebration and recreation. All these different systems of being are affected by a timeline with an unknown end date. With lack of resources and mobility, still life photography has taken on new meaning in this global pause. Will the new aesthetic last past isolation? How has the inability to “escape” shifted for photographers? What resources will emerge to promote still life home life? 

© Nicolas Polli

Food Styling

We can surely be on the lookout for more food and drink sculptors which will infiltrate commercial brands and magazines. The aesthetic captures the zeitgeist of the pandemic and will be a token look and feel when we look back on this time. 

Generation Homebodies vs Rebels

Will post-corona Generation Z remain on the last track to their living rooms as the popularised “Generation Homebodies” or will the sudden barriers placed upon us change their trajectory to make the heart grow fonder for the great outdoors. It will be important to track the speed of change as public spaces begin to open back up.Is Generation Homebody hear to stay? 

“These current circumstance in which artists find themselves—having to potentially move their studio into their home—directly challenges the escapism that making art and going to a studio provides. Sometimes you just need to not make for a while. Does one stop being an artist if they are not making? This is a deeply personal question that arose from the pressure of being surrounded by my work. Be prepared for this.” (Artnet News, 2020) 

But creativity benefits from isolation. Those same, tricky circumstances can often be its starting point. (The Telegraph, 2020) 

“Sometimes, I just have to look around the kitchen for what food is on hand or take Eloise to the garden until we discover a little snail that leads me to shooting a still life. I try to let the day or the emotions of living through it dictate what I am capturing.” (Harpers bazaar, 2020)

Art is what humans do in spite of, often because of, catastrophes. In the 14th century the Black Death — bubonic plague — killed half the population of Europe. Simultaneously the Renaissance, the greatest of all art movements, was being born. (The Times, 2020) 

​#wfh #houseparty #welcomehome 

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© Brad Trone

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© Nicolas Polli

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The quarantine work I have been making is mostly constructed still lifes. The first couple of them that I made were spontaneous gathering of objects in my house and see how they fit together and then started to pre-conceptualise what I wanted to make a little bit more after that. I also have been trying to make images when I go out on walks and hikes or just around the house."

@homelife_stilllife tries to create an archive of this period, showing still-life images from different photographers and at the same time shows the backstages as well.”

As we were receiving comforting messages from our NY friends asking about our families in Italy and reassuring us, we realised the idea that the virus was going to reach also NY and the rest of America was far from everyone’s thoughts. In that moment we’ve just felt we needed to spread some info and be creative as we were doing that."

Quarantine-self

Updated: May 30, 2020

© Saffron Harlem

artists throughout history have experimented with a very particular subject: The Self. 

Thanks to developments in technology and the invention of the cellphone camera, the concept of taking a picture of oneself is familiar to most of us. 

Added to Selfies - that are made to show the current state of the “art” - many self-portraits hold an additional layer of storytelling. From the very beginning creators started to explore themselves, different concepts of representation and act out fictional stories.

© Mathery Studio

Personal Stories

Self-portraits enable creatives to express the different ways quarantine and self-isolation are being experienced in a time when creative resources are limited. The use of the self in pictures therefore is an obvious and organic choice. Creatives embrace their influence on the perception of the viewer and creating different narratives. The way quarantine is experienced is very personal. The visual outcomes are often manipulated and exaggerated to highlight this experience and underline the message to the viewer. 

Solidarity

The creation of a self-portrait definitely has a therapeutic value and helps dealing with personal emotions and accepting the current state of things. This therapeutic value is enhanced by sharing it with a community. This contributes to a sense of unity and the feeling of togetherness. 

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© Kourtney Roy

© Mathery Studio

A question that is answered rather humorous by Kourtney Roy through her “Survivalist Failures” series on Instagram. The photographer famous for her self-portraits depicts a character in quarantine and its daily fights. Although the scenes are clearly exaggerated, the lack of costume makes the character feel a lot “realer” than her usual dressed and “propped” up characters.

Filmmaker and Photographer Duo Mathery take pictures of them themselves at home replicating a Facetime Phonecall or visualise the term “Social Distancing".

“The limitations of lockdown definitely helped to feed my creativity. Having only myself and my immediate surroundings to work with made me more experimental" photographer Saffron Harlem explains. 

 

Her project “Lockdown Diaries" portrays the mundane, but also hints at a more darker, unknown truth. To her the most exciting part of self-portraits is the performative element, she states further. “By being both image and image maker you can communicate exactly what you want". 

On German photographer Rebecca Ruetten’s webpage you find her wearing a face mask made of teabags and winning a bicycle race in her living room. 

Under the project description “Quarantainment” she writes: “What we need now is humour and a sense of belonging that goes beyond our current situation and leaves no one behind. Right on our doorstep, not only globally. Shared projects are the start for me.”

#selfportrait 

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© Saffron Harlem

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© Rebecca Ruetten

 

An Art-fundraise-activism

Updated: May 30, 2020

© Hangar Gesù church livestream

In recent years, creative communities have proven to be particularly helpful in times of crisis when it comes to fundraising. During this crisis, many have responded quickly to requests for financial support by creating Corona-related work and organising virtual exhibitions to raise and donate money. They have also been raising awareness and support for those most affected by the pandemic by communicating cultural differences. 

Creatives are essential to problem-solving during a crisis

The creative industry is known for its innovative solutions to problems. That‘s why it is important to work together with creative people and to involve their skills and insight, especially to secure a better future.  

Communication through artistic languages

It is important to find new ways to discuss challenging issues or to challenge assumptions, to support causes, and to explore deep, personal questions through art - as creativity is accessible to the masses.

 

“From ancient times, people have used images to communicate. Words are sometimes included and can be an effective complement, but they‘re not the primary way ideas are conveyed in visual art." (Stephanie Przybylek, 2018) 

“Art can promote specific political viewpoints.” (Classic Daisies, 2017)

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to push medical supply chains to the brink of collapse, a decentralised community of engineers, designers and craftsmen - commonly known as “makers” - has stepped in to find creative ways to fill the gaps.” (Yahoo News, 2020)

#Origamiforlife #Savethesummer

The quarantine work I have been making is mostly constructed still lifes. The first couple of them that I made were spontaneous gathering of objects in my house and see how they fit together and then started to pre-conceptualise what I wanted to make a little bit more after that. I also have been trying to make images when I go out on walks and hikes or just around the house."

@homelife_stilllife tries to create an archive of this period, showing still-life images from different photographers and at the same time shows the backstages as well.”

As we were receiving comforting messages from our NY friends asking about our families in Italy and reassuring us, we realised the idea that the virus was going to reach also NY and the rest of America was far from everyone’s thoughts. In that moment we’ve just felt we needed to spread some info and be creative as we were doing that."

_MG_2420_w1_web.jpg

© Brad Trone

Copy of 1_nicolas.jpg

© Nicolas Polli

toiletpaperohcrap.jpg

© Mathery Studio

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