The photographic series ErSieundIch by Anja Schlamann shows excerpts from the life of a man who obviously lives three different lives: that of a Westphalian farmer, that of a middle-class public official and that of a cosmopolitan engineer.
For her work ErSieundIch Anja Schlamann slipped into the role of her brother Lukas and, with this work in the form of self-dramatization, brought him back to life, 40 years after his death in infancy. Consistently, this game around different roles is presented in the form of a photo album. His absence is made duplicate in this way.
The beholder sees the apparently lived life of this man, although, as he or she continues looking, the beholder’s confusion grows as to the figures’ delimitation from one another: it becomes clear that this is a character, a female figure in a male role.
A handful of accessories, used in a stereotyped way, play with the construct surrounding gender identity. Set as examples, they are read as handed-down gender features. The heteronormative, binary division becomes clear in those photographs where brother and sister encounter each other. The self-reflexive performance divides the photographer’s identity visually into two parts: into that of a man and into that of a woman.
The photographic sequences are supplemented by an additional level: by interviews, fictitiously conducted between brother and sister, completed in a fourth with the parents, which is about what actually has been experienced, about loneliness and transience.
The role play in the work ErSieundIch counteracts this loneliness by visualizing an imagined illusion and thereby creating a new reality.
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in mumbai, march 2017
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