participatory photographic studio
within the framework of the artist in residence program
montée du Château
Scanning is a process associated with data, objects, images or codes. A digital undertaking that requires just the fraction of a moment.
The scanning of people implies something altogether different and intervenes in less mundane realms. Possibly medical ones? One could thus intuitively associate "People Scans" with research, healthcare and doctors?
These days, people are scanned. For instance at the airport, where screening aims to provide clarity on the unknown person.
The act of scanning appears to be no neutral process. Rather a political one? An intrusion that focuses on the individual while at the same time ignoring it, for the benefit of society...
Kurt Hörbst is able to defuse the situation. His "People Scans" are a purely photographic project, with no medical context or political framework. The Austrian photographer scans volunteers to create their portraits.
Similarly to a CAT (computer-assisted tomography) scan, the end result is composed of several individual takes. The internal structures of the body are not revealed here, however; instead only a superficial overall body portrait is created.
In contrast to today's expectations, this work process requires the model to exercise discipline and remain still. This motionlessness over a few minutes enables the 15 to 20 central perspectives to later be merged into one single image. The linear movement of the camera thus contradicts the principle of photography: the view from one particular point is rendered invalid. From a perspective point of view, the finished image represents an impossibility. Because of the "overly detailed" comprehensive view, the captured individuals seem a bit outlandish, yet at the same time amusing. This project expands the genre of the "full-body portrait": scans make the full man.
translation by Claire Weyland