Book Preview: Doppelganger


Images and book description are from Gestalten:

The digital age has fundamentally changed traditional notions of who we are and how we wish to be perceived. The music producer Chris Walla puts it this way: “Confronted with our significantly more banal everyday life, we’re measuring our actual selves against our online selves with hopeful resignation.”

Doppelganger presents current trends in the depiction of human beings. In today’s images and sculptures, personal identities are being intensified, altered, or created through the use of techniques such as deformation and construction/deconstruction as well as the obliteration of classical proportions, visual traditions, and what is generally considered beautiful and fashionable.

The book shows permutations of the outer human shell created with costumes and masks as well as photo-technical and artistic manipulation. These take their visual cues from such diverse aesthetics as Dada, surrealism, high tech, cutting-edge fashion design, and the folklore of other cultures. Masquerades and artificial characters are used imaginatively to enhance and obscure true identities.

With examples ranging from the intimate to the radical, Doppelganger explores how many or how few effects the depiction of a person can take in order to function as such. In doing so, the book shows that the unique visual appearances being created today often reveal more about the identities of their subjects and creators than their “real” faces ever could.

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