Posturing: Photographing the Body in Fashion, London

Posted on November 2, 2017 by Dan Thawley

Hands on hips! Extend! Crane that neck. And jump! No, rather forget all that.
Posturing : Photographing the Body in Fashion, a new exhibition at The Ground Floor Project in London, explores the work of a generation of photographers who are actively questioning the traditional representations of the body in fashion by reacting to the idealised perfection of the (predominantly) female form. Curated by Shonagh Marshall and Holly Hay, this autumn photo show is a timely prelude for those heading to Paris Photo this month, and includes work from an international selection of young talents from Coco Capitn to Suffo Moncloa, Johnny Dufort, Reto Schmid, Zoe Ghertner, Charlie Engman, Tyrone Lebon, Charlotte Wales and Blommers & Schumm.

Spanning a selection of images from 2010-2017, the exhibition asserts a decidedly 21st century view of fashion photography, wherein image makers have abandoned the tropes of the classical posturing of models, allowing for a new language of choreographed, gymnastic shapes to emerge in the pages of fashion magazines. From busts and bums to elbows, ribs and knees, these images investigate the human body at its most strange and elastic, undoing the expectations of the hourglass figure and the elegant gesture of displaying a garment at its most flattering angle. Instead, both the naked and clothed body is depicted from a multitude of different perspectives, with clothing’s role in the construction of the fashion image taking a backseat to its role as a building block in a wider dialogue of materiality, texture, assimilation and fragmentation in direct rapport with human skin, hair, facial features, and the spatial elements of each photograph. The themed conceits of location, props, art direction, casting, and styling help categorise these ideas within this thought-provoking show of weird and wonderful show – a rare look at both the commercial and artistic realities of artistic fashion photographs through a both humorous and analytical lens.

Posturing : Photographing the Body in Fashion runs through November 12th at 10 Thurloe Place, London, SW7 2RZ, to be followed by a short film project at Miami Basel 2017 and an accompanying book in collaboration with Self Publish, Be Happy launching at Art Basel Hong Kong 2018.