- Digital Formats
190 x 125 cm
The close-up monumentally enlarges a face; only the neutrally closed mouth, the nose and slightly upward-looking eyes are shown. The individual visual layers appear to be x-rayed. The image information is coarse-grained and inscribed on the image carrier in black and red.
For her work MATON, Katharina Sieverding used a passport photo of herself taken in a photo booth. The original image has been repeatedly photographed and reworked into a mask that glistens before the viewer. As a result of this transformation, the self-portrait has increasingly lost its individuality. The actual portrait character of the picture now blurs into the general and has become a projection surface for the viewer. Familiar categories break open; what is seen can no longer be easily classified.
The title MATON refers to the photo booth, the Photomaton, developed by Anatol Josepho and presented to the world in 1925; but the French meaning of the word 'maton' – prison guard – also opens up a way into the work.
Sieverding has significantly developed the expressive possibilities of photography since the 1960s. Her self-portraits have always been a central motif in treating the medium. Her works question conventional identity and gender constructions.
MATON was acquired by the ifa in 1992 for the exhibition FotoKunst and is currently on tour in the exhibition Travelling the World. In 1997 the ifa accompanied Sieverding's contribution to the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The exhibition was curated by Gudrun Inboden and also showed the work of Gerhard Merz.