Javier Hirschfeld Moreno: Profile

Javier Hirschfeld Moreno: Profile

Open Doors Gallery is proud to present 'Profile' by Javier Hirschfeld Moreno, a body of work exploring modern day masculinity and self-representation on dating apps. Javier Hirschfeld Moreno is interested in the role and responsibility of photography in the representation of the self and collective identities. The project explores topics around queer identity and visibility, documentation and archive, as well as emotional and surveillance capitalism.
“All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.” – Guy Debord, The Society of Spectacle, 1967
Javier Hirschfeld Moreno is a Spanish artist and curator. He currently lives and works in London. His photographic projects include Profile, The Sheltering Pixel, Miguel de Moreno and Once Ideal Senegal. Hirschfeld studied History of Art at Birkbeck and, in parallel, developed an interest in portrait photography. The diversity of the people he encountered and photographed in London, contrasted with the western-centric view of art history, which mainly focused on white male artists. ‘Profile’ was born after the artist’s research and BA dissertation ‘From Carte de Visite to Tinder: the burden of constant self-representation’ at Birkbeck University, and after his own observations, experiences and reflections on representations of fellow ‘cruisers’ on dating apps such as Grindr or Tinder. He creates unique collages that combine found images from online dating profiles with 1860s Cartes de Visite of men. Hirschfeld is influenced by Masters of Western art, including Caravaggio or Zurbaran, Masters of West African studio photography like Seydou Keita, Malick Sidibe or Samuel Fosso, as well as contemporary artists like Omar Victor Diop, David Wojnarowicz or Joan Fontcuberta. His work has been presented in France, Spain, US, Brazil, or UK, including Centre Pompidou, Centre of Contemporary Art, Malaga; Sala Canal, Madrid; Instituto Cervantes, Sao Paolo; Centro Andaluz de la Fotografia Almeria; Copeland Gallery, London.
From Cartes de Visite to Tinder
"During my research, I examined hundreds of dating-app profiles looking for contemporary self-representation strategies, aspirations and anxieties, which I then compared to those from 1860s Cartes de Visite. These small photographs (roughly the size of an iPhone screen) were the first instance of socialisation, and even flirtation, mediated by photographs." – Javier Hirschfeld Moreno, 2021
Profile [Marlboro], Javier Hirschfeld Moreno, 2021, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
'Profile' Exhibited at Peckham 24, London
In 2021, Javier Hirschfeld Moreno was invited to present ‘Profile’ at Peckham 24, London. With the topic of ‘Solitary’, this year’s programme was created in response to the waves of protest and public demonstration that the world witnessed during the lockdowns of 2020. Exhibitions gave a voice to the urgent global issues of our time through the work of artists responding to the Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQ+ experience, Women's rights and lived experience with mental health.
Profile, Javier Hirschfeld Moreno, Peckham 24, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
Process
"I work with original nineteenth-century carte de visite photographs. I look online and in flea markets for those old images of gentlemen; full body portraits, busts, close up of the face; front or profile; often damaged, sometimes broken, and even partially burnt images. I look for a connection, not in the gaze, but in the pose of those men, and the background that’s going to stay when they ‘disappear’." - Javier Hirschfeld Moreno, 2021
Javier Hirschfeld Moreno's studio, 2021, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
"Sometimes it is the connection with a shape I’m familiar with, a recognisable beard, a normative masculine pose. And then I look for poses that don’t look so heteronormative. One of the ideas of the series is ‘queering photography’ in which there are no reference of queer photography... There were very strict rules in terms of representing class, race and particularly gender. So I like finding postures that when cut out might defy those conventions" - Javier Hirschfeld Moreno, 2021
Cartes being prepared in Javier Hirschfeld Moreno's studio, 2021, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
"Before matching in real life, I try digital mockups. When I feel I am ready for a successful match I cut out the cartes and print the landscapes in cotton paper. But what matches digitally doesn’t necessarily match physically – and often the chemistry appears in the studio with an expected pairing of carte/printed landscape." - Javier Hirschfeld Moreno, 2021
Cartes being prepared in Javier Hirschfeld Moreno's studio, 2021, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
"Some of these landscapes, mountains, leafy pathways… remind me of cruising spaces, historical spaces out of societal surveillance. However, these landscapes are appropriated from the dating apps, where every single conversation, reaction, image is surveyed. I wanted to point to this paradox and reflect on surveillance capitalism. Waterfalls as ties, or as a beard… I found these water elements a very poetic, albeit futile way of resistance to that surveillance." - Javier Hirschfeld Moreno, 2021
Cartes being prepared in Javier Hirschfeld Moreno's studio, 2021, courtesy of Open Doors Gallery
Javier Hirschfeld Moreno: Profile, 2021 [A Night in the Opera], courtesy of Open Doors Gallery