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An Artist Makes Us Think Again About The Human Form With Her Visceral Photos

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Artist Juuke Schoorl has long been fascinated with the human body. That”s not uncommon for artists, who have been representing the human form for thousands of years. As a result, we as humans have a fairly fixed view of bodies and how they look–or at least, how we think they should look. However, sometimes our perceptions are warped, and so artist Juuke Schoorl decided to warp the “normal” to give us a new way of seeing the human form.

The Dutch artist and photographer used purely conventional methods to create these effects–as in, no Photoshop or other digital manipulation. Rather, the eerie textures were created using everyday, but not immediately visible items like fishing line, tape and other items that pull, push, squeeze, stretch and indent the skin. The result is an unsettling, visceral image of a familiar thing–skin–being manipulated into something alien.

No digital manipulation: The protrusions are created by attaching tape to fishing line and pulling at the skin.

Fishing line creates a sectioned appearance to a typically smooth surface.

Even manipulations of the skin that look at first like injuries can take on an aesthetic quality.

Clear tape creates the illusion of scar tissue.

Indentations pressed into the skin create a new texture and suggest an alternate evolutionary reality for the skin we”re all familiar with.

The series also explores the limitations of skin. The relatively thin barrier protects our whole bodies from the outside world and can withstand a surprising amount.

The project, called REK, which is Dutch for “stretch,” explores Schoorl”s fascination with the human body and its malleability. Using the various materials, she explores its ability to change and adapt and, by doing so, to take on new and unfamiliar forms that challenge our idea of what skin and bodies look like. The images are are a little disturbing at first glance, but once the initial creepiness of skin not looking like it”s expected to wears off, the changeable nature of human skin, and the body underneath, is revealed.

Schoorl”s work deals with the body, its relationships to other bodies, to space and to technology. You can see more of her photos and some video work on her website.

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