Lars Stephan
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In my work I use self portraiture to explore questions of identity and placement. Through ever changing context I explore different fragments of identity in relationship to different aspects of the world at large. My definition of identity is ever shifting, adapting to the physical and psychological context. I explore this concept from different point of views, whether it be a fusion with nature, an absorption into a cultural aspect or as an expression through specific locations. I am interested in the constant dialogue between an aspect of the self and its environment.

By self portraiture though, I don't mean a portrait of myself; it doesn't depict me the artist/ photographer Lars Stephan, but moreover the persona/model, Lars Stephan. This split has its root in an multinational upbringing and a fragmented family which never gave a clear definition of identity and belonging. With my art I try to define those aspects through visual answers. But since in my eyes there is never a satisfactory definition of identity the question always remains unanswered. Hence I continuously let my persona be influenced by cultural or natural aspects or locations. To me this process is fascinating. Through this practice combined with a detachment of the person pictured I hope to uncover hidden relationships, that might otherwise be obstructed. I am inviting the viewer to pause for a moment and participate in this revealing, bringing awareness to their preconceptions of what it means to be them.

In the long term I am interested in documenting the broadest spectrum of definition of identity, the parameters being that I am simultaneously the photographer and the person in the picture. I want to create a body of work that looks beyond the gaze into the mirror, and sees what happens when an unexplored and unfamiliar aspect looks back at you.

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