Series of photographs finds faces hidden in everyday objects
Smile! Your things are in front of the camera. Berlin-based photographer duo Studio Likeness have been productive during the city’s multiple lockdowns of 2020-2021. Take a look back at the couple’s photo diary from last year
Since 2013, creative duo Julia Classen and Magdalena Lepka of Studio Likeness have been busy developing their own visual language, working together on unique concepts for still life photos and videos. Based in Berlin, they explore ways to “irritate our perception and challenge photography’s claim to reality”.
Locked-on photography offered an interesting opportunity to test the limits of reality in new and bizarre ways, as they began to turn the lens on their own living spaces. A surreal adventure followed, as Classen and Lepka found depictions of faces in their daily belongings.
“In this series, we brought objects to life and made visible what was missing.
The duo began to take snapshots of the “faces” they had discovered in their home and send them to each other. At one point, they automatically knew that the light exchange was developing into a photographic series. After selecting their favorite home scenarios, they began to piece them together and fine-tune the situations.
“Over the past year, we’ve spent more time at home and seen fewer of our friends than ever before,” the duo explains. “We missed them a lot and we knew a lot of people felt the same about the lack of social gatherings. So we went looking for new friends in our own homes and found friendly faces everywhere.
A pair of ruffled red pants fall from a dryer, revealing the depiction of a nose in the folds. Two bright red socks fallen from a laundry basket form perfectly pursed lips. Open books blink like eyes, and elsewhere an upturned hanger creates a broad smile, and tossed spaghetti forms a Picasso-like line drawing face in the base of a sink. It is the purest of portraits; personified objects.
“Photography is communication,” says the duo. “We wanted to send something that seems familiar to everyone and that surprises with a new way of seeing it. In our photographs, objects are always the main protagonists. In this series, we brought them to life and made visible what we lacked. §