Mirthe Scheifes
What power

art

 
thou?

To be beyond human, in deviant times.

How do we see the human body and how do we experience it and how does ‘seeing’ influence how we experience our body? In my photographic work I re-explore the body in relation to its environment and the objects within that environment. By capturing the body as an object outside of the stereotypical seductive appearances and shapes, I change the way we look and so the experience following.

In my work I choose to approach the body not merely as a solid given, because by believing in its physical adaptability, it can re-emerge and transform. By letting go of what we know about the human body, its boundaries and its limits, I create a new relationship between how we see the body and how we relate to it. In my work the body is no longer a smooth surface but a three-dimensional thing that can be situated between a dead object and a living and breathing person. 

What does this mean in a time in which everybody understands that the body is no longer a surface where the gaze stumbles on, but a living vulnerable organism that must fear invisible intruders. The body is more than just a smooth surface, it’s a delicate shell of skin around a physical body with openings that give access to the virus. We are no longer in control. In everything we do, the virus follows us. Everybody with a human body has to fear suffering and pain.

In my photographic series To be beyond human, I show how the body is an object that can cause pain or discomfort. This is often even present in the photographic process and defines the impact of the image. In my struggle to bring in the realness of the body in the image I accept and embrace the suffering and discomfort. In that sense I feel kind of related to the virus that also undermines the physical appearance and forces us to feel and understand what it means to have a mortal body.