My Other Self
A portraiture project.
Costumes have been used through history for many reasons. Most religious festivals, regardless of the culture, have a highly symbolic iconic costume. Armies through history have a war costume that it’s only purpose is intimidate the enemy, others also call it a uniform.
The wedding dress was used during the middle ages, as a way to show the class and the social status of the family of the bride, It was a costume to fit a very specific purpose.
The natural state of the human being is nakedness, therefore, as soon as we start throwing layers of clothes on top of it, we carefully plan it to make sure that it conveys a message, hence, we are building our costume.
Costumes are used in theaters to tell stories, or by politicians to sell us their lies. We are all wearing different costumes at some point of our day or our lifes. The suit and the tie, is a disguise to hide the short and hawaiian-shirt-wearing father, or maybe in some cases it is the other way around. Even if you don’t wear and suit and tie to go to work, your outfit is projecting the persona that you want the world to see, hiding another persona for a more intimate circle.
In the Book of Genesis, one can read how Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover “their nakedness” after eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. “The masquerade motif appears in the Bible on two different levels: an attempt to fool people and an attempt to fool God.
There are groups of people among us with a true and honest interest in the art of creating costumes, collecting them, wearing them and hanging out with others while at it. The Cosplay community is a small example of it, but not the only one. The steampunk community puts an incredible amount of effort in getting the outfits right. There is also the reenactment community, as diverse as the periods in our history, with infinite genres and sub-genres.
For more than a year, I’ve been attending cosplay and re-enactment events, with nothing more than a portable studio setup: One large Softbox, and one hand painted smoky grey backdrop. I have to keep the setup simple, because I want to make sure that I don’t draw too much attention, but also that I can move around easily in the events if I have to.
So far I’ve published 24 images from this series in my instagram and facebook account. In the coming weeks, I will also be posting them on this blog.
This is what “My Other Self” is about. I photograph the costumes, the outfits or the disguises, but most importantly, my intention is to cut through it all, and photograph the people behind.