Body Art Pioneer Jürgen Klauke’s Photographs Devour Their Viewer
The German photographer and Aesthetic Paranoia” (2004–2006), an enigmatic series of photographs on view now at Annely Juda Fine Art. Each image in the body of work features a single white double bed, topped with a figure (the artist) shrouded in black, and set within a black, empty void of a room.
But with each image comes a subtle change in perspective—a minute shift in scale, in distance, or in angle—leaving the viewer unstable, disquieted, and feeling the paranoia that courses through the subject. The artist’s face is always obscured, hidden behind a long black mane of hair, or scrubbed from the image, leaving ghostly remains. The body is transformed into a shape, a kind of
Klauke’s extremely long hair, first neatly combed onto his face and placed like a blanket on the bed, grows more entangled and hysterical, assuming a life of its own as the series evolves through the gallery. The hair becomes a metaphor for all that blinds us, for that which bars us from the world outside, leaving us uncertain.
“Loose Contact” (2004–2006), a sub series of
Both series revolve around alienation, masks, isolation, and everyman’s struggle. But there is a sense that in playing out these traumas, some relief is to be had, relief shared through this performative art. Darkness abounds, but we’re only able to see it through the photographer’s flash, his light.
“Jürgen Klauke, Aesthetic Paranoia” is on view at Annely Juda Fine Art, London, Sept. 10–Oct. 24, 2015.