Art Paper Editions, 2021. Edition of 1,000 copies. Hradcover, 120 pp., b/w and color illustrated, 215 x 290 mm. Photographs by Rita Lino. Text by Brad Feuerhelm. Design by Jurgen Maelfeyt.
Selected as one of the Best Books of 2021 by Myrto Steirou, Brad Feuerhelm
‘Replica’ suggest a new reading of the body and the model as a pure image,a pure tool, without referring to any representative identity, hereby ignoring today’s contemporary society of what the self should be.
Lino refers strongly to American mid-century photographer William Mortensen, who states that a body is simply considered to be “a machine that needs adjustments.” According to Mortensen the body must be the basis, “representation of personality and emotion […] are irrelevant and misleading”. There is a certain dehumanization in Mortensen’s approach to the model, a return of the body to an object without meaning, in front of the camera. Mortensen saw models as clay that form the image, a body was articulated only by the operator’s intention. He wanted to strip the figure from its emotion and personality, so that we, as an audience, could consider the body as a formed prop and stare at the image as the essence, and not the subject.
In Lino’s case she is the model, the operator / photographer, the subject and the image at the same time. She is in complete control. She found a way to remove herself from representation and reduced her own body to a pure object and image, almost like a machine. ‘Replica’ is a manifestation of the artist’s understanding of her role in front of and behind the camera.
‘Replica’ is a prescient of an approaching future in which identity will surrender to the carefree machine of image magnification.