Photography series finds hidden faces in everyday objects
Smile! Your belongings are on camera. Berlin-based photography duo Studio Likeness has been productive during the city’s multiple lockdowns of 2020-2021. Take a look back over the couple’s photographic diary from the last year
Since 2013, creative duo Julia Classen and Magdalena Lepka of Studio Likeness have been busy developing their very own visual language, working together on unique concepts for still life photos and videos. Based in Berlin, they explore ways of ‘irritating our perception and questioning photography’s claim of reality’.
Lockdown photography offered an interesting opportunity to test the limits of reality in new and stranger ways, as they began to turn the lens on their own living spaces. A surreal venture followed, as Classen and Lepka found depictions of faces in their everyday belongings.
‘In this series we brought objects to life and made visible what we were missing.’
The duo started taking snapshots of ‘faces’ they discovered at home and sent them to each other. At some point, they automatically knew the lighthearted exchange was developing into a photographic series. After selecting their favourite domestic scenarios, they went about re-enacting them, and fine tuned the situations.
‘In the past year we spent more time at home and saw less of our friends than ever before,’ the duo explains. ‘We missed them a lot and we knew that many people felt the same way about the lack of social encounters. So we went looking for new friends in our own homes and discovered friendly faces all around.’
A rougue pair of crumpled trousers tumbles out of a dryer, revealing the depiction of a nose within the folds. Two bright red socks fallen from a laundry bin form neatly pursed lips. Opened books blink like eyes, and elsewhere, an up-turned clothes hanger creates a wide smile, and discarded spaghetti forms a Picasso-like line drawing face in the base of a sink. This is the purest of portraiture; objects personified.
‘Photography is communication,’ say the duo. ‘We wanted to send out something that feels familiar to everyone and yet surprises with a new way to look at it. In our photographs, objects are always the main protagonists. In this series we brought them to life and made visible what we were missing.’ §