Outside You / Inside Me exhibits the portraits made by Susanne Junker in La Térmica as part of ID-Identity, an artistic project through which women and men, from all over the world and of all ages, put on makeup before a camera without seeing each other. Faced with a blind lens, person and mask, actor, and character, explore their strangeness. Started in 2006, ID-Identity brings together people from all over the world with a transgressive aim: to create an archive of portraits positioned in relation to the prefabricated ideals of the beauty, advertising, and fashion industry. The first portrayed person was the artist herself, because, as a sought-after model in the nineties, Junker began a series of self-portraits through which she became a subject and author at the same time.
Thus, in the same wake of Lee Miller, the surrealist model turned photographer recently exhibited in La Térmica, Junker also preferred to be a photographer than a model, although she is still both. The intense self-observation she practiced since she was a child plus her experience as a mannequin, led her to use her own body as a canvas to question social and gender issues. Junker used her media exposure not only to break the prejudices that surround modelling from a feminist perspective, but also to interrogate the social construction of our mask and the aesthetic and identity ideals that constitute it.
Reflecting on our identity through the mask acquired a greater relevance, if possible, in the pandemic ‘new normality’, since video communications added an unexpected dimension to the way in which we re/present ourselves. The zoom look implies blurring the line between public and private space, as well as a transfer between ‘outside’ and ‘inside’. In this context, INSIDE YOU / OUTSIDE ME not only proposed a re-vision of identity as a social blueprint, but it also makes us realize that we can accept it and make it our own or not.
The exhibition portraits were shot by Susanne Junker as part of the series of talks La moda del arte (The Fashion of Art), which has been taking place at the Carmen Thyssen museum since 2017. The cycle, directed by Patrícia Soley-Beltran for Málaga de Moda and La Térmica, explores the boundaries between contemporary arts and fashion from a humanist perspective. Soley-Beltran, curator of this exhibition, holds a PhD in Sociology of the Body from the University of Edinburgh; she is the author of several books and numerous academic and popularising papers, she has been awarded the Anagrama Essay Prize for her book ¡Divinas! Models, power and lies (Anagrama 2015) and the María Luz Morales Prize for gender journalism, among others.