Systematic Portrait 1

Systematic Portrait 1

Digital Photography, Portrait, Political / Social, Mixed technique, 70x90x2cm
The modern passport photo is the one photo that has the purpose of faithfully representing the subject. No emotion must be shown, no extra fashion items must be present, no technical mistakes are allowed. The parameters and rules that have to be followed are precise and universal. The bearer of the document is identified with the image printed inside the passport, but also with the data that is read from a chip that is embedded.
Control machines at the borders scan your image again, compare it to the data the passport holds, and check that the photo and the scan match and that all the security measures (holograms etc) are authentic.

For my systematic portrait 1, I scanned my passport in a high end flatbed scanner. I made sure to turn on the scanner's DIGITAL ICE function on the highest setting (Digital ICE stands for "Digital Image Correction and Enchantment). With this setting on, the scanner would perform a second pass using infrared light, with the aim to remove dust, scratches and most importantly imperfections on the surface of the scanned photograph.

The DIGITAL ICE did take out all the imperfections of the photo and enchanted the important details. The facial futures is distorted in the cleaning process, to the point that an abstract digital patchwork of a portrait remains, while the security holograms and text from the Greek Republic are revealed clearly. These are in truth the parts of the passport that allow me to cross borders. The portrait is an abstract element of secondary nature.

Yet In the final image it seems that the vital aspects of my identity, as revealed through a mechanical process are shown. I find intriguing that in an abstract way I look more Greek than ever in this photo, with the curly hair and beard of an ancient male statue and a laurel.

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