So Far So Close

Skin-close, yet illusive, as s if they live in a vacuum where time stands still. These series depict the recurring feeling of detachment, of emptiness even. Halfway between physical proximity and detachment, what youth actually means in these times of globalization. A youth adopting or undergoing a whole series of standards that finally get’s them to look similar in many respects. From the photographs in Belgium, in Panama or in Japan emerges something disturbing in the life of these teenagers and adolescents which relates to the images. More specifically a dependence to the hyper-sexualized codes of fashion, a formatting of appearance and behavior by the fashion and cosmetic industry. The photographs are made no more than two meters away from the subjects. Quite often it looks even closer; however, this proximity paradoxically serves a more distant look. As if looking closer at the ones photographed, strengthens the feeling of distance from them, proving clearly what differentiates them from us. We’re not able to grasp what they are thinking or dreaming of, or what’s truly going on in their minds. We can watch them but we’re not able to enter, as if we are the ones displaced in the world where these characters live.
Ruth Vandewalle