Looking Out, Looking In presents gender as unfixed. The work suggests that gender
inhabits a difference that is non-oppositional - a difference that does not necessitates a negation of
‘the same’ in order to be meaningful.
Through a study of the discourse of the studio portrait through gaze, gesture and texture, Looking
Out, Looking In seeks to emphasize the physical and formal elements of a photographic portrait. This
is an attempt to generate encounters that operate through affect rather than simply through the
regime of representation. The perfections and flaws of pose, skin, clothing and backdrop become
central elements in these encounters between sitter and artist, inviting the viewer into an open
dialogue on identity.
The identities of the people depicted in these portraits do not align with the dual norms of ‘male’ and
‘female’. The photographs are kept untitled, highlighting that the sitters’ gender identities are
unfixed. Looking Out, Looking In was shot in London in 2015 and is still ongoing.
Åsa Johannesson is a London based fine artist. Johannesson studied photography at the Royal
College of Art, where she graduated in 2009. Her work has shown in London as well as
internationally, most recently at the Vaxjo Konsthall, Sweden (The White Gaze, 2015). Currently
Johannesson is completing a PhD at the Royal College of Art, investigating the relationship between
photography, difference, and the affective encounter.
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