Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen’s Unsettling Photos Of Masked Figures

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Women at different stages of their lives posing in seductive, awkward and humorous poses. Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen, in her series ‘Seduced and Abandoned’, creates photo collages with singular elements and wide close ups of skin and hair. Using her own method, she depicts the theme of abandonment. A testimonial of events from her past and feelings left from a traumatic up-bringing.

Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen collects 1970’s National Geographics. She is influenced by the unusual lay out of the ads. She also uses poses from 1980’s magazines archives as inspiration for her shootings. The exaggerated close ups and the appearance of elements such as medical supplies, a doll and a set of false teeth attract the viewer despite the oddity of the pictures. Most of the props were used by the artist’s grandmother and evoke fragility and mortality.
One of the major component of the work is the use of a plastic mask and a wig. Generating an unsettling feeling, it increases the viewer’s curiosity of knowing more about the person hiding behind the mask. The grouped images, piled up in one area of the frame creates a claustrophobic feeling.

It is of course all orchestrated by the artist. Her purpose is to trigger an introspection.
By displaying domestic activities in her work blended with flesh and enticing poses, Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen narrates her story as an abandoned child and her reality at home at that time. Wanting to say it all through the collages, the artist seems to install a distance between herself and the viewer. The mask and the wig are a way to progress incognito while she is telling her story.
The grandmother, used a symbol of death and mortality combined to a bright contrasted background blurs the lines of the artist’s intentions to reveal it all through her art. “creating photographs where it is unclear if the subject is reflecting on her own past, looking forward to the future, or trapped somewhere in between.”

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  • salena

    This made me uncomfortable.