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2018 Annual Conference

Philadelphia

March 01-04, 2018

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2018 SPE Annual Conference: Uncertain Times: Borders, Refuge, Community, Nationhood / Hosted by The University of the Arts

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Sarah Horan

SPE Member since 2011
Member Chapter: Northeast

Scanner Portraits

Skin is the natural covering of the body and protector from exterior elements. One of its main functions is to feel and react to its environment. In turn, it is also the physical layer of intimacy, which for many, means that it should be concealed. This concealment feeds the curious desire to explore what is considered to be private. This work offers the intricately detailed human form without the satisfaction of making physical or mental contact. Through the photographic medium, a safe viewing distance is permitted without the subject's awareness of being a spectacle. With this barrier in place, the viewer is able to unabashedly visually probe the subject while the subject is protected from the anxiety or even panic caused by a stranger being within inches of their naked body. These notions surrounding the human form have existed throughout the history of art. Through including symbols, which have been widely recognized for millennia, the work references the ageless existence and importance placed upon universal communication through imagery.
This series was created with the use of a handheld scanner, which is able to transform a three-dimensional object into a completely flat two-dimensional surface. The process of scanning the three-dimensionality of a person, meticulously probing every inch of the body that I wish to be in the image becomes a performance in itself. The process throws both the model and myself into a state of hyper-aware uneasiness and intimacy. Although the performance element is important and necessary, it exists to support the work. The intricate detail represented offers something seemingly tangible yet remains inaccessible. The digital skipping and shallow depth of field allude to memory lapses, representing the vital information which can be lost in relationships that are surface based and often dependent on technology which lack the element of a physical experience. An easy solution to fill in these gaps is to interject whatever intimate details we wish to believe. Doing this creates the allusion of a full and clear comprehension, leaving our connection with the individual to be in great part, a fabrication.

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