The Other Side of Venus, 2011-2013
In the limbo of post-puberty the revelation is a highly sensitive form of vulnerability. Bodily-change and self-confidence go along the dangerous path of realization of one‘s identity. The motif of searching for the stranger and the recognition of self, in the other raises the central question of portrait photography: the issue of identity and image.
I capture these shy moments of young men in Eastern Europe, depicted in a pathetic ambience. The poetic discussion of the “otherness“ is a calculus. In some countries being different means fear of ostracization, persecution and discrimination - where to go, where to stay? Where to feel reassured? Where even to feel safe? They are not (yet) on the run, but look for the shelter and security of a protected place, and so they find themselves on the sidelines of vacant, abandoned sites. In the end, these people are no longer looking for their “very own” identity. In the interplay of a strong presence and labile emotionality, their individuality is stolen during a moment of solitude. Concise gestures and photographic arrangements solve the singular sensitivity to general codes. All these individuals are also metaphors for authentic emotion.
The historic situation of a nation can suddenly peek out of a picture. Spaces that appear like stages are taken out of context and suggest detailed historical chasms. Thus, the silent film-still-like photographs visualize the secret longings of the “protagonists” of a society, who are alienated from themselves, as well as the fragile relationship that has become the reality through which they move as if hypnotized. Between reality and imagination, these young men revolve around their life-panic as “actors” and solidify contemplation in these portraits. However, the subversive energy that builds up behind the surface is not to be underestimated.
Anna Charlotte Schmid (adapted from the artist’s statement)
Born in Essen in 1984, Anna Charlotte Schmid studied photography at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen and at MOME/Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary. Her work has been shown at Villa Ichon, Bremen (2013); Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Wiesbaden (2013); Telep, Budapest (2013); De Oude Kerk, Amsterdam (2013); nGbK, Berlin (2014); and Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin as part of the 6th European Month of Photography (2014). Schmid has been awarded a number of prizes for her work, including first prize in the category ‘Gender’ at Pride Photo Award, Amsterdam (2013). Her photographs have been published in several magazines including PHOTOGRAPHIE, Dfa Magazine and Camera Austria International. Schmid lives and works in Berlin.