Haute Couture – Bern
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s account of visual art is his suggestion that its power and promise lies, not merely in its ability to offer us something to look at, but rather its ability to offer us novel ways of seeing. I would add that this is especially impactful when the artwork makes existing ways of seeing conspicuous to us, inspiring critical reflection on our own role in how the things we look at come to appear as they do. Stefanie Scheurell’s artwork accomplishes both. It confronts us with large scale fashion photography, but interrupts our visual consumption through a practice of subtracting from the images by removing large portions of the surface on which they are printed. This not only offers a new way of seeing the photographs, but also enables viewers to catch ourselves in the act of projecting into the gaps of the image.
Shiloh Whitney, Feminist Philosopher, Fordham University, NYC