European Photography

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Do you take pictures for private purposes?
There are several ways in which I explore the boundaries between public and private. In the Self- obsessed iPhone series I explore my own limitations and fantasy images. The exhibitionist nature of these images is enhanced by placing them in the context of Facebook or a website – an envi- ronment that represents the convergence of exhibitionism and voyeurism in the home to home “upload.” I am fascinated by the phenomenon of Facebook and what it reveals about issues of privacy and the public domain today. It is also one of my primary fields of operation.

Do you keep a diary?
My images are a visual diary about my sexual power, about fantasies as a sex object. This diary is my “martial” response, my shooting back in reaction to the fake pornification of the media im- ages. I shoot back with wild sexual power.

Which city do you like the most?
Facebook. It’s becoming the public space we spend most time in. It is a city that never sleeps.

What is your favorite music?
Bach.

What is your favorite dish?
Fish.

How do you feel about tattoos?
I always feel like licking tattoos when I see them.

Are you a more introverted or extroverted person?
Please send your thoughts about me as an intro- or extroverted person to hester.scheurwater@ gmail.com, I really don’t know.

Would you consider yourself a voyeur?
I look at myself from both sides of the mirror. In this context, exhibitionism and voyeurism come together.

Which camera did you use for this project?
An iPhone and a Canon compact camera.

What does “privacy” mean to you?
Privacy is the field in which I examine my own physicality without limits, it’s oscillating between mental play and physical truth.

Do you feel your privacy is more threatened by corporations or by governments?

I think privacy is most threatened by Facebook. Facebook is just like a modern state with its rules, administration and, more importantly, its disciplinary gaze. Facebook is all about looking and being looked at. You are given access to the lives of others, and in turn, you are encouraged to share details of your own private life. But it is also very much about what is permitted and what is not. You have to comply with standards of behavior in order to remain part of the community.

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About European Photography PRIVACY issue #90, :

Cover: Hester Scheurwater

European Photography #90 features 17 international artists with their views on private affairs: Florian Ruiz, Jana Romanova, Dante Busquets, Chad States, Dennis Rito, Rania Matar, Kurt Caviezel, Marco Lachi, Kasia Bielska, Margo Ovcharenko, Lorena Morin, Marina Kruglyakova, Nils Klinger, Gerald Förster, Oscar Monzón, WassinkLundgren, and Hester Scheurwater. Introductory text by Andreas Müller-Pohle: “Photography, the Enemy of Privacy.” Also in this issue: “Photography and Fetishism” by Boris von Brauchitsch, “Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945” by Reinhard Matz, blogger’s guest column “Little Brethren” by Jörg M. Colberg. Plus a survey of International Photo Awards by Benjamin Füglister. – 80 pages, 24 x 30 cm, texts in English and German

Acknowledgment: This issue has been co-edited by the Photobook Master Class at Istituto Europeo di Design, Madrid, directed by Moritz Neumüller, as part of a seminar held by Andreas Müller-Pohle in September 2011

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Born in 1971 in H.I. Ambacht, the Netherlands. Lives in Rotterdam, the Netherlands www.hesterscheurwater.com
My work is about the tension between what is happening inside my head and how I act on the outside– this border between private and public. In trying to reach this frontier, I make use of my own body and present fantasy self- images. Indoctrinated, obsessed and fascinated by this view of the “sensual seductive” woman as sex object, I try, almost obsessively, to comply with this image through self-portraiture. These fantasy images are reminiscent of desires, fears, temptation, seduc- tion, violence and sex – self-images as sex object, devoid of any commercial frills; knowing full well that I can never compete or live up to the image. The mirrored self-images are my way of reacting to the imitated and fake media images that constantly call upon our imagination without ever intending to be taken too seriously. By switching the “subject-object” relationship, I try to deconstruct this call’s effect without being victimized by it.

Hester Scheurwater