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© Elin Berge

“I can only be me, whoever that is”

                                                    — Bob Dylan

Most of us have taken a selfie. Or several. Probably thousands to be honest. A part of the selfie culture we improve our public image by choosing the most flattering angles, environments, situations and looks, deleting what we find to be unflattering and choosing the ones we like best.

But, if you would tell something about yourself in one image – and one image only.  What would you do? One single click.  No chances to delete and try again.

SELVES is a series of photographs that are a combination of selfies and the professional photographer’s formal studio portraits.  The method strives to play with inherent photographic power structures. Between the viewer and the viewed. Between self-control and being exposed.

The participants have answered on a public call from photographer Elin Berge, to come and make a self-portrait together with her for an exhibition. She made herself available as a creative partner, offering technical knowledge as well as eyes and ears. She created a private room for self-reflection. A room that she actually left just before the participant was about to take the picture. This intimate space was at the same time a stage, directed to the public eye.

They were given the power to handle some of the most conclusive aspects of what makes a photograph: facial expression, pose, clothing, props and the exact time to push the button. Simultaneously the power was taken away as they accepted to relinquish the control over the result: What remained after the shutter was fired. The visual evidence of a persons attempt to capture and present ones self. 

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

Institute Artist is redefining how stories are produced and told. Representing auteur-driven storytellers, we bring together talent across commercials, photography, fine art, and film. Founded by Matt Shonfeld and Frank Evers. Institute Artists multi-platform production expertise, and established global relationships in entertainment, fine art, and journalism make for unmatched reach and cross-pollination of creative work. Institute Artist has been a leading advocate of the power of underrepresented talent and is fully committed to bringing these authentic voices to our clients by helping them tell compelling and entertaining stories that better connect with their audiences.