The Self-obsessed photo series, which explores Hester Scheurwater’s desires, obsessions and fears sparked media hype in the Netherlands. The explicit imagery shocked many and fueled debate on the sexualization of society. Zurich-based curator, writer and contemporary photography specialist Walter Keller compares it to Rober Mapplethorpe’s sexually-charged imagery or Francesca Woodman’s erotic mise-en-scene.”Scheurwater’s visual self-explorations extend the boundaries of another main topic in art history and photography – the pose. But in her pictures, model and artist are one,” says Keller. “Yes, this is sexually explicit work, but even more, it is a curious and smart research about herself, where the artist looks at herself from both sides of the mirror.”
About the Artist
Hester Scheurwater (1971) studied monumental art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague. Under the guise of self-portraits, she investigates and critiques the role of woman as a sex object. Photographs of herself posing before a mirror reflects both Scheurwater’s inner thoughts and outward appearance. “The mirrored self-images are my way of reacting on the imitated and fake media images, which are constantly calling upon our imagination, without intending to be taken too seriously, ” she explains. ” I try to deconstruct this call’s effect with my reactions by switching the ‘subject-object’ relationship, without being victimized by it.” Scheurwater’s work is sexually explicit, and therefore well known.The explicit images in her work are shocking and prompt discussion about the purported sexualisation of society. At the same time, her works also share links with international feminist art. Scheurwater’s videos were part of feminist programs and exhibitions, including those at the Brooklyn Museum and the Blanton Museum of Art in the USA.
About the Publisher
Editions Bessard is a Paris based independent publishing house created by Pierre Bessard in 2011. Focusing on working with artists, writers and curators to realise intellectually challenging projects in book form.