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“Hyperarousal” by Photographer Bettina Koller

A series by German artist and photographer Bettina Koller. Following her studies at Freie Kunstwerkstatt München and Staatliche Fachakademie für Fotodesign München, Koller began experimenting with various photographic processes and materials as a way of exploring larger questions about identity, social roles and the shaping of our existence. Currently based in Munich, she continues to address issues of materiality and identity in her series, “Hyperarousal,” which documents her hair loss using photograms — a technique that involves placing an object (in this case her own hair) on a light-sensitive surface and exposing it to light to create a direct translation of the physical contact.

“Without appearing myself, I use my body as main subject of my work. Once again, I tie in with the tradition of female self-representation by journaling my increasing hair loss on 46 dated photograms over a period of one and a half years. Hair is a physical manifestation of our life and holds emotional weight and memories. The loss of hair is linked with the loss of vitality and youth. An everyday sign of aging and the transience. Collecting my hair in household jars and recording it in a diary-like feel on photograms is my strategy to cope with this and to oppose something. Hyperarousal is also about the process of creating and the conditions — when does it start, why does it stop, what happens during the periods when no photogram is created — what do voids tell?”

For Koller, the photogram reveals materiality previously invisible to the naked eye. The result is a series of tangled nests of hair transformed by exposure onto date-stamped 4×5 inch sheets of film that represent something both physical and ethereal. See more from the project below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bettina Koller’s Website

Bettina Koller on Instagram

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