Physical Trauma Survivors Reenact Scenes From Missoni Fashion Catalog

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Photographer Denise Prince challenges our perception of beauty and aesthetics by interchanging professional models with physical trauma survivors in her latest photography and video project Tractatus 7. Using a catalog by a high-end Italian fashion house Missoni, Prince replicates the superimposed glamour with a pinch of cruel, muted reality.

The provocative project, originally titled Replication and Breakdown of the Missoni Estate Line Catalog, is a juxtaposition between our approach towards reality and the events that take place beyond that fantasy. Prince raises a question of what happens to our designed reality when a traumatic event occurs? To her belief, people who have undergone severe traumas have an improved capacity to face the human condition.

“My sense is that when we see people with evidence of physical trauma we initially see them as people who were “not safe” and are reminded, ultimately, of our own mortality. I deeply believe that engaging with what we think we fear and yet gives all meaning to life (death – to the extent that this work is a reminder) brings with it a sense of greater peace.”

Prince uses her uncomfortable and grotesque way of storytelling to share the subject’s experiences (accidents, birth defects or assault) in an attempt to surpass standards of representation with the public, which is often deaf and blind to such events. Photographer is committed not to position her models as victims: “I work with people who have sufficiently recovered, established a new relationship to fantasy <…> At this stage <…> they are open to play, <…> to serve as an object of desire, to social risk taking.”

Tractatus 7 opens to public September 7 and will be running until September 27 at University Park in Austin, Texas. (via feature shoot)

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  • mike

    during my deployment, i witnessed how other culture address the disfigured of their society/families. what i witnessed was 180 degrees out from our society. they worked, as the could, functioned to the best of their abilities within the family unit. casualties of war and life. of course, there were no institutions to hide them away in like here. but there were no horrifying looks. it was a part of life and accepted. it seems to me our government likes to test their latest human mulating devises on those who can’t defend or protect themselves from them. i am shamed by that

  • Laura

    I’m loving the attitude expressed by the girl with the zigzag handbag. I could be wrong but I am seeing a devil-may-care look on her. I hope these folks had fun doing this.