Monday, 16 August 2010


I have only recently discovered Erwin Olaf, although having recognised most of his work in photo series such as 'Le Dernier Cri', 'Grief' and 'Hotel', his short moving image pieces are new to me. From work such as 'Royal Blood' with ashen-toned aristocracy displaying mutilated wounds in unsettling portrature or the muted, calculated settings in 'Hotel' showing the sparce isolation in rooms or even the erotically-charged 'Paradise, The Club' celebrating clowns in sinsiter, sexual and mischevious characters they all give an unnerving focus to Olaf's photography.

With his pristine blemish-free shots, his images retain an ominous realm revealing layered depictions of liberty. With images which reach this layered philosophy, those who are outsiders through beliefs, race, class or sexuality are restricted and Erwin Olaf aims to depict this false liberty of which there are vulnerabilities and loneliness on both sides. I love Olaf's style and vision; to create the uncomfortable feeling drawing on subtle human emotions; to create allegorical documentations of imperceptible feelings that can resist interpretation and hide in the shadows of emotions. Work such as 'Separation' works well for me, the lighting, the set and the unspoken feelings reveal a perfect disquiet to the detached aura of these images. For me it is made even stronger by the short film, enhancing the nebulous truths and dark lucidity of domestic bliss which only contribute to the chilling discipline in the scene.

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