Oct 30, 2015 - Nov 8, 2015

Delhi Photo Festival 2015: Angélica Dass's "Humanae" Series

Delhi Photo Festival


Humanae is a work in progress, which intends to deploy a chromatic range of the different human skin colours. This taxonomy of Borgianas proportions adopts the format of the PANTONE® Guide, which gives the sample a degree of hierarchical horizontality that diluted the false pre-eminence of some races over others in terms of skin colour.

The presentations of the range of colour shades induce the viewer to reflect on one of the dual meanings containing the word identity: that associated with equality.

Humanae activates a semantic mechanism with an ‘innocent’ displacement of the socio-political context of the racial problem in a safe environment, as is a colour catalog in which the ‘primary’ colours have exactly the same importance as ‘mixed’.

Humanæ it’s a pursuit for highlighting our subtle-continuous of our tones that make more equality than difference… our true colors, rather than the untrue Red and Yellow, Black and White.

It is a kind of game for subverting our codes. The audience is free to read into it. The ultimate goal is to provoke and bring currently using internet as a discussion platform on ethnic identity, creating images that lead us to match us independent from factors such as nationality, origin, economic status, age or aesthetic standards.

These guidelines have become one of the main systems of color classification, which are represented by means of an alphanumeric code, allowing to recreate them accurately in any medium: is a technical-industrial standard. The process followed in Humanæ also is rigorous and systematic: the background for each portrait is tinted with a color tone identical to a sample of 11 x 11 pixels taken from the face of the photographed. Aligned as in the famous samples, its horizontality is not only formal also is ethical.

Thus, without fuss, with the extraordinary simplicity of this semantic metaphor, the artist makes an “innocent” displacement of the socio-political context of the racial problem to a safe medium, the guides, where the primary colors have exactly the same importance that the mixed ones. It even dilutes the figure of power that usually the photographer holds. The use of codes and visual materials belonging to the imagery that we all share, leaves in the background the self-referentiality of the artist, insistent and often tiresome.

The will that the project evolves in other directions beyond their control (debates, educational applications, replicas and a host of alternatives that have already triggered by sharing Humanæ on social networks) contributes also to the dilution of the hierarchy of the author.

Many of the ingredients that characterize the [best] spirit of this time appear to be part of this project: shared authorship, active solidarity and local proposals likely to operate globally, networking, communication expanded to alternative spaces of debate, awareness without political ideology, social horizontality…

A photographic taxonomy of these proportions has been rarely undertaken; those who preceded Angélica Dass were characters of the 19th century that, for various reasons - legal, medical, administrative, or anthropological - used photographs to establish different types of social control of the power.

The best-known is that of the portraits of identity, initiated by Alphonse Bertillon and now used universally. However, this taxonomy close to Borges´ world, adopts the format of the PANTONE ® guides, which gives the collection a degree of hierarchical horizontality that dilutes the false preeminence of some races over others based on skin color or social condition.

The spectators are invited to press the share button in their brains.

Angélica Dass earned a BFA from UFRJ (Brazil-2006) and Masters in Photography from EFTI (Madrid-2012). She understands photography as a dialogue from personal to global: a game for personal and social codes to be reinvented, a flow between the photographer and the photographed, a bridge between masks and identities. This is strongly arisen in her globally recognized project Humanae, a tool for exploration, questioning and searching for identity of every of us.

Delhi Photo Festival
Credits: Story

Exhibition by Delhi Photo Festival.
Oct 30 - Nov 8 2015, IGNCA, New Delhi.

Credits: All media
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