Self-portrait project focused on the transformation of oneself, against the prejudices of the general society towards freedom of expression and to be who one really is without hiding before anything.
The project begins with a naked person and ends with the same wrapped in latex, the naked reflects the facade towards society and the wrapped the free expression. The role of the bird is part as a symbol of the transition, it contributes with its wings to fly towards freedom.
We live in a society where everyone hides behind an armor. We feel vulnerable and build a wall around us to not show who we really are.
Sometimes we come to a moment in our lives where we hit bottom, where we believe that nothing can go worse and where we feel immensely alone and unaccepted. A moment in our life where we feel isolated and sad. We crawl every day aimlessly as if a wave were carrying us behind its back and we don’t even realize that we move with our own feet. We wake up in the morning, follow a flow and go back to bed, and we repeat this one day after another… and suddenly there comes a day in which we realize that we have already spent like that too much time. It is the moments in which we are at the deepest that give us the strength to make a change and take a step forward, either to drop the wall we have built between society and our most unarmed being or strengthen the foundations of that almost unsustainable fortification.
There are times when it is even harder to let go of our armor, because we feel that we have become even more vulnerable beings than we already were… at the same time that those same armors become a huge burden that we carry on our shoulders and that crushes us. We are crushed by fear. Ironically, that’s when we make our armor even more resistible and opaque. Sometimes, they even make disappear what (or who) we really are.
There is a universal law that could be expressed in these terms: the more complex a system is, the more vulnerable it is. They say being vulnerable will make you stronger. It seems a total contradiction, but it is not. All, without exception, we have shortcomings, weaknesses, fears and / or insecurities, and whoever denies it is wanting to believe an image of himself that is not very right, totally unreal. In the society in which we live, a “perfect showcase image” prevails, which has led us to a strange alley in which accepting a personal weakness is a sign of defeat, disappointment, or cause for mockery by the rest. Likewise, being different from the pre-established canon of what is called “normal” or commonly accepted also means an internal fight. It is impossible to change society suddenly, but we can do it within ourselves, modify those parameters and fly over that fictional landscape in which we always move with that armor that we have built. Only this way can we learn, join ties and become stronger thanks to who would say it, to our weak points or, rather, to the complex acceptance of them, of what makes us vulnerable. Only then can we find freedom and become, at least for us, the best version of oneself.
It’s about finding a balance. There is no one who has not been afraid of not rise to the challenge of certain moment in his life or being rejected, we are very ashamed to recognize it because of the fear of being attacked… sometimes it is hard for us to accept it ourselves. Sometimes, the perfect showcase image is also lived inwards.
The opposite of vulnerability is not strength, but hardness… including soul and emotions. If we harden not to feel pain, we also do it so as not to feel love and the kind part of life. Although society sells us the image of unbeatable, our way to happiness is to accept and embrace ourselves in the totality of who we are: Strong and vulnerable at the same time.
About Jaqueline Vanek
I was born in Villach, Austria, and I currently reside in Madrid, Spain. My creative studies began in 2003 led to Sculpture as a Senior Technician in Fine Arts, Casting and Moulding. In 2005 I became involved into the magical world of Photography ending three years later as a Senior Technician in Fine Arts and Artistic Photography and with an MA Degree in Digital Fashion, Portrait and Advertising Photography. At the end of 2011, I began my studies in Design with a MA Degree in Graphic Design, Web Communication and specialization in Art Direction; trying to specialize later in the field of UX and UI Design.
I have participated in exhibitions around the world, including a participation at the Biennale Fotonoviembre together with artists like Dave McKean, an exhibition at the Long Night of Museums in Austria “ORF Lange Nacht der Museen” and a participation as round table member of the Digital Photography Meeting “Macaronesia”. I also participated in international charitable projects such as “Made for Japan” in 2011, all the profits were donated to the Japanese Red Cross for helping the victims of the earthquake/tsunami. A sponsorship by Datacolor (The World Leader in Color Innovation) is also worth mentioning.
My work has been published in: New Heroes & Pioneers (Sweden), Vogue Italia (Online Version), Lysmåler Magazine (Spain), Citypulse (Chile), De Bezige Bij Editorial (Holland), Profifoto Magazine (Germany), Imser Siglo Editorial (Spain), Datacolor (Switzerland), Digitalfoto MC Ediciones (Spain), ORF Lange Nacht der Museen (Austria), Ko-e Magazine (Japan), 2bemag (Spain), Fart Magazine (Holland), Staf Magazine (Spain), Bak Magazine (Turkey), hacidMAG (Spain), Heels Magazine (Spain), TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (Spain), Tartarus Press (United Kingdom), Postmediabooks (Italy), Periódico La Provincia (Spain), Hitspaper (Japan), Kleine Zeitung (Austria), Periódico 20 Minutos (Spain), Fashion designer Leyre Valiente (Spain), Fashion designer ByMare Shoes (Spain), The Khooll (Digital Design & Lifestyle Magazine), Design Ideas.pics (Online Magazine for design ideas)… [Official Website]