Quel Bordel as a series is based on pictures that were sent to the artist. It depicts four depersonalized women showing themselves striking a premeditated pose. By teasing the spectator with this kind of suggestive close-ups, a brief moment of reflection intuitively arises that questions our own boundaries of intimate behavior.
The women are shown faceless with both hands grabbing or touching their breasts. We witness passion, lust, tenderness, but also aggression (or submission). The images ask us a number of questions about who we really are, how we want to be seen by others on a screen, and therefore the genuine nature of our physical and virtual identities.
It begs questions about how we want to be perceived by others and what the role of a medium in between actually consists of. As subjects, we only become human in and through the face of the Other, as the French philosopher Immanuel Levinas once aptly stated. Our human subjectivity, therefore, is precious and fragile. Because of our preoccupation with how others see us, we lack a big deal of self-awareness in the process without even realizing it.
At the same time, we can question our responsibility when making choices about what we show about ourselves and the world around us and what we want to see. The right to privacy is threatened when data is managed badly from an ethical point of view. But we sure do have a choice when it comes to consciously using the cameras and screens of our mobile devices that became an extension of ourselves almost overnight.
Text written by Koen Jules Van Damme - devrijepen.be