Codex from the series Parasomnia, 2010 © Viviane Sassen, courtesy of the Foam Collection

Viviane Sassen, 2006

Codex from the series Parasomnia

Created by Viviane Sassen in 2010 as a part of the Parasomnia series. Using C-print on as the medium, the artwork is displayed at 80 x 65 cm.

The artwork explores themes such as identity.

Codex shows a young Kenyan man standing in a white shirt with a pink book on his head. He's looking up, but his face is not visible. The photograph is part of the Parasomnia series, which for a large part consists of portraits of young Africans in Zambia, Kenya, and Tanzania. They were often constructed as part of an intuitive collaboration with the subject. Remarkably, it is often impossible to see the subject’s expression: the face and parts of the body tend to be wrapped within a shadow, turning away from the viewer or only display the lower half of the body. This makes it hard to identify with the subject in the photo. The (in)ability to properly register a person’s identity, the limitations preventing the viewer from forming an accurate picture, and the role of photography are recurring themes in Sassen’s work. She plays an intriguing game with perception, undermining our assumptions and stereotypes.

© Viviane Sassen, courtesy of the Foam Collection

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Codex from the series Parasomnia