Watching a body approaching from inside a hole.
The presence of naked bodies and its censure in public has triggered for some a new wave of moralism that started with the #Mee Too movement and some museums’ ironic gesture of covering the female nakedness (remember the controversy that started at the Manchester Art Gallery on Sonia Boyce’s work); but also the censure of nakedness on social networks. What and how a body should be shown in social networks is what users ask when they base their profile’s contents in experimenting with their own bodies or that of others.
Florian Hetz is a German photographer who uploads part of his art on Instagram. His photographs have a strong erotic content. For him, keeping his account active is an act of rebellion and accusation.
Fragments of bodies, minimum frames and the presence of erotism resumed even if corroding are three visual marks that define Florian Hetz’s photographs. Sexuality and repulsion, violence and desire put on a scale. His visual world is always on the verge of danger and beauty, maybe the evident cause for the repeatedly censorship of his Instagram profile. However, the artist insists on pushing the border between what is allowed and what is not in social networks.
For Hetz, what is intimate and hidden is what he exhibits. In his photographs he gets closer to a skin space. Sometimes the impression of his photographs feels like looking at a body approaching, from inside a hole.
What started initially as a photograph diary and then as a kind of record of some of his lovers, ended up as a habit that allowed him to systematize his creation by means of photographs.
Berlin has been his natural habitat and he launched his visual proposal there. And it does not mean that the city is a clear referent, but it did give him the necessary freedom to intensify a kind of sensitivity.
Lately he has had the chance to stay in Los Angeles, after and artistic residence at Tom on Finland Foundation. The series called Eco Park was born there. The artist opens up to new referents and alternates textures and lights of natural environments with his customary approximation to the dermis and the most diverse forms of the body.
Hetz openly declares that for him, male sexual organs, the neck and the back curve are venerated objects. His urgency to explore the texture of flesh and the different chromatic possibilities lead him to capture the detail: arteries, hairs, spots. In order to achieve this, he makes use of a direct and incisive light, though this does nor mask flaws; on the contrary, what seems ordinary acquires another dimension.
The artist plays with aversion to achieve beauty and it is through this scheme that his work seems to insert itself visually in a network like Instagram. However, his referents and themes imply a break with certain standardized images.
What can be an artistic image, an erotic one, a pornographic one, when it is corrosive and when beautiful, seem to be the questions we make ourselves when we see his works. This also applies to a certain motto applied to photography, but also to almost all art: reality is not what we see but what we recreate.
Redacción: Saul Joy
Material Visual: @florian.hetz