... ... ...
02.10.2015 | | Kultur,Lifestyle

Der Körper als Spiegelbild der Seele: Gracie Hagen zeigt neue Serie „Processing the Destination“

Bildschirmfoto 2015-10-02 um 15.39.50

Bereits im letzten Jahr haben wir über eine junge, talentierte Fotografin aus den USA berichtet: Gracie Hagen begeisterte damals mit ihrer Bilderserie „Illusions of Body“. Hierbei zeigte die Künstlerin, wie die Körperhaltung darüber entscheidet, wie schön oder hässlich ein Körper wirkt. Mit ihrer neuen Serie fokussiert sich Hagen wieder auf den Körper als Abbild der Seele. Über zwei Jahre begleitete sie für ihre Werke unter dem Titel „Processing the Destination“ eine Frau mit Brustkrebs, die sich beide Brüste abnehmen und wieder aufbauen ließ. Die Bilder erforschen dabei die Invasion der Krankheit im Körper, sowie den Verlust und den Wiederaufbau. Sie erinnern somit an einen Krieg, der sich im Inneren des Menschen abspielt. Das Faszinierende ist, dass die Protagonistin dabei ebenso fragil und verletzlich wie kämpferisch und stark wirkt.

Hagen setzt sich durch die Fotografien ebenfalls mit dem Thema Weiblichkeit auseinander. Viele der von Brustkrebs betroffenen Frauen fühlen sich nach einer Mastektomie  in ihrer sexuellen Identität beschnitten und müssen erst wieder zu sich finden. Auch dieser Kampf um die eigene Identität ist in den Bildern klar zu erkennen. Ein Blick auf die Bilder macht den Parforce-Ritt, den die Protagonistin während ihres langen Kampfes gegen die Krankheit führen musste, spürbar. Dennoch keimt kein Mitleid auf, sondern Mitgefühl und Hochachtung vor dieser Frau, die sich in jeder noch so intimen und verletzlichen Situation zeigt, Kraft beweist, ohne die ein Überleben nicht möglich wäre.

Die Bilder – siehe unten – sollen anlässlich des Breast Cancer Awareness Month im Oktober 2015 erstmalig öffentlich gezeigt werden.

In einem exklusiven Interview verrät uns die Künstlerin mehr zu ihrer Arbeit.
Why is the human body one of the central topics of your work?
I am human, I find it fascinating and things we do are sometimes a mystery and always interesting. The point in life for me is to leave the earth better than how I found it and I’ve found my way of doing that, it’s through my art.  I think that creating art and appreciating art and entertainment is one of the most special things we do as human beings.

What means beauty to you?
Beauty is relative, so everyone’s definition of it will be different. But your question asked, „What is beauty to me?“ I believe it is how one behaves and what one does in life that makes them beautiful. To have the ability to empathize, to reason, to love; those are beautiful things.

What is „Processing The Destination“ about?
Processing the Destination documents the progression of one woman’s life over two difficult years as she undergoes a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery. It invites the viewer into the process by sharing an increasingly common experience that is usually private, personal, and often goes unseen.

Which emotions do you want to arouse?
Breast cancer is frightening and strikes at the core of womanhood. We wanted to de-mystify the experience, reveal the journey, and add another type of face to expand the narrative. We wanted to enlighten people who aren’t dealing with this issue and to help those who are know that they are not alone.

Tell us more about your relation as a photographer and as a person to your model of „Processing The Destination“.
I had always wanted to do a series that took place over a long period of time and when the subject of the photographs came to me with her idea, I knew it was perfect. My subject was inspired to capture this period in her life because, when she first discovered she would need the procedure, she saw very little imagery that depicted the reality of what her surgeries would encompass. She found it difficult to find pictures of women with her body type. She felt alone. There were lots of ‚before and after‘ images, but a journey is more than just the beginning and the end of something. It became clear that a project that focused on the scale of the process was necessary.

What was the most emotional situation to shoot?
Each shoot was different, there were days where she experienced emotions such as anger, frustration and sadness. But she also experienced days where she was happy, hopeful and relieved. I am extremely grateful to her for not only allowing me to be privy to such a private experience but also document it.

You say that as a photographer you want to reveal the important parts of life. Besides a cancer disease give us some examples.
My previous series, Illusions of the Body, was something I felt needed to be shown. The way the media portrays body types is damaging to our self image. I wanted to show that what you see in the media isn’t an accurate view of the models you see. It’s a product of lighting, posture and angles, so don’t compare yourself to something that isn’t a reality.

If you could change the world with your work – how would it look like?
More empathy, more tolerance and more education for everyone.

Gracie Hagen Processing the Destination 1 Gracie Hagen Processing the Destination 2 Gracie Hagen Processing the Destination 3 Gracie Hagen Processing the Destination 4 Gracie Hagen Processing the Destination 5 Gracie Hagen Processing the Destination 6

... ...