Exhibition: January 13 – February 16, 2016
For the portraits of the work “Archiv (Berlin)” consisting up to now of 12 parts Sylvie Weiss contacts selectively young women at market places, in the sub-way and on the street, to photograph them later on in her studio. Important for the selection of the women is the visibility of their own world, in which they are living.
Their very clearly defined outward appearance can stem from different contexts. It can mirror their culture, a style of music, a sense of living or style of life as e.g. Emo, Goa-Hippie or Vegan-Splatter-Punk.
Each of them is questioned about their view of life, their favourite song and their music genre.
E.g. Claudia: She is 17 of age, but gives the impression of being several years older despite of her dainty figure. She told me she is an Anarcho-Punk. Her favorite group is Amebix – her favorite song is Chain Reaction. Her special liking for Anarcho-Punk is expressed also by her outward appearance: dreadlocks, piercing in the face, mainly dark clothes. If one would just read this description, one would not suspect her soft expression.
Sylvie Weiss has chosen this pose, which reminds on classic paintings of portraits, in front of a dark background, because it functions very well as pattern for totally different contents. At the first glance this pose may be limiting, but allows the portraited women to free herself from the automatic reaction of putting-herself-into-scene.
Obvious is the formal strictness of the installations of the portraits. They are put into three rows one above the other. Between the single pictures there are no distances, therefore the pieces of the work can be viewed not only individually but also at the same time as a more encompassing overall picture.
Differences become more visible, “codes” can be read and compared more easily and allow society relevant questions.
Sylvie Weiss, born 1977, is a French-Austrian artist, lives since 2008 in Berlin and works mainly with the medium photography, installation and sound.
In her work she is mostly concerned in the broadest sense with the subject “identity-finding”.