We popped down to the Art Library of Kulturforum on my last few days in
Berlin to check out the Mario Testino “In your Face”exhibition.
As we quietly walked into the dimly lit spacious gallery room, our timidity was made known by the sound of our heels, which clicked and awkwardly clocked like ants across the polished wooden floor. The life size images hovered above us on a ledge like seductive Nephillims, seducing us into a world of Postmodernist sodomitic sensualities.
Framed with electric pop colours and back lit by LED lighting, the photographic stories caused an understatedly erotic mist of energy to hover through the cool interior of the gallery as the acoustics remained void and solely penetrable by footsteps, whispers and silent questions from fascinated head titling glares. It was like discovering a new planet and recognising elements of self, human nature and unspoken, often dismissed sexual tendencies.
The tone was Gender Queer, fluid, transgressive and ultimately IN YOUR FACE, but never tacky, and this, in my opinion is one of the reasons the world embrace and celebrate the success of his work. The language he speaks is eloquent and straight forward with the right amount of gloss to digest, it’s a loud and rhetorically muted conversation.
It’s sensory, vibrant, enigmatic, honest, it’s real; it’s the space in which there is no need to vocalise thoughts, its the party of the 6th sense…
This is the first time “In Your Face‟ has been exhibited in Europe following its premiere in Boston in 2012 at the Museum of Fine Arts, and twice in 2014 prior to Berlin in South America. The presentation was a juxtaposing of over 100 formal portraits, black and white and colour private snapshots, nudes and fashion editorials.
“In Your Face, for me, represents the most free way of expression… As an image-maker people always want to put you in a box. I believe we are made of many different aspects and not always are we allowed to let all these different aspects show, let alone to live next to each other as they do in this exhibition. This particular hanging style for these photographic works allows all of these different aspects of my curiosity to have a conversation; they not only exist on their own but trigger a reaction when being next to each other.” – Mario Testino.
Presented in partnership with Swarovski this particular range of his photographic work managed to provoke, appease an appeal to the raw, exciting, mysterious underdog of human nature that we call sensuality. The limitless boarder crossing, observantly analytical energy we possess and struggle to control. The love hate relationship between body and soul. This is was an outstanding gorgeously appealing testament to the intersectionalities between art, fashion, photography and the documentation of life and lives.