Afgelopen week was ik in Boedapest en bezocht ik en toffe en vooral inspirerende foto expositie ‘Second Skin’ in Capa. Verschillende kunstenaars exposeerden met werk waarin de gefotografeerde, of de eigenaar van het geen dat gefotografeerd werd, zich erg kwetsbaar openstelde. Patronen die we allemaal kennen werden in de expositie vastgelegd. Bijvoorbeeld een reeks aan wasmachines die met vieze was gevuld zijn. Maar ook een fotoserie over een man die zich vrouw voelt, waarin al zijn dagelijkse rituelen in zijn transformatie zijn vastgelegd. Heel bijzonder om te zien hoe deze mensen zich zo kwetsbaar openstellen voor de kijker.
Visual Codes of Social Constructions
One of the most important features of our social existence is that we attribute meanings to every phenomena and to the features of the world, as well as to our own actions – and to the accessories we use to emphasize them. These rules, created by human communities are defined as social norms: constructions that we can adjust our behaviour and appearance to.
The individual may choose from these predetermined patterns: interpretation is actually choosing from and using these patterns. Identity as the field of social and political structures is not statically determined, but it is rather a permanently moving and changing structure. It is the product of actions, options, technologies, which operate with the biological-physical-corporal self on the one hand and with the conscience of the ego on the other hand.
The exhibition entitled Second Skin. Visual Codes of Social Constructions explores this issue of how we construct our personality that we show to our surroundings. It looks at what the following concepts mean: the coercive or freely chosen social roles and their corresponding signalling system; the shifting or expansion of the body lines; the message aspect of the body as a medium. How our cultural identity and affiliation are structured, what meaning is attributed by the majority society or a subculture to certain pieces of clothes, to the stylization of the body and to some accessories. How “uniforms” are created for certain social rites, which later serve as instruments to the criticism of a specific practice. The exhibition explores the historical aspect of the structures related to the body, to the gender regime, to the institutionalized distribution of roles, to public consensus, to fashion trends, to subcultures or to prestige, as well as their changeability, their provocation or rather support by the Hungarian visual culture.Ideological and cultural changes have also taken place in Hungary with the development of the consumer society, when actions related to the identity and the self have taken a radical turn. It was not only a complicated external and internal process, where performativity, interchangeability and the commercial aspect was intensified, but the structures are still remade and normativity is redefined in the mid-2010s.