[Above: Rosa (Lampropeltis Getula Splendida) , c-type print, 21.4 x 17.3cm, 2016 © Bettina von Zwehl]
Hello – this is Christiane Monarchi, delighted to be sharing some current photography with you on Hatje Cantz fotoblog from artists and photographers working around the UK and Ireland, which is the geographic focus for the online magazine Photomonitor that I started 5 years ago. Since 2011 Photomonitor has published more than 750 features from more than 200 artists and writers, for a broad spectrum of current thinking on photography, lens-based media and photobooks created and exhibited in the UK and Ireland.
Bettina von Zwehl / Bloodlines
Each portrait in Bettina von Zwehl’s new series Bloodlines shows a young girl, in a studio environment, holding a live snake. The encounter between human and snake is at the core of each portrait, the slow and gliding movements of these mesmerising creatures quietly and subtly guiding the gestures of the sitter as she seeks to retain her composure and her poise.
“I am drawn to the snake’s unblinking stare, its sculptural presence, its symbolic potential, the beauty of its shimmering scales, and to its transformative presence in the frame of the image, evoking so many different associations: from fear and disgust to sensuality and feelings of awe. The girls approach the challenge of the session in their own unique way: a mix of anxiety, trepidation, excitement and also pride. The encounter with the snake as it undulates and coils across each young sitter’s body calls for her to find her own way to support it, guide it, protect it, and in some sense, to connect with it.” – (BvZ, 2016)
Bettina von Zwehl (b, 1971, Munich) lives and works in London. She has built her international reputation on subtle yet captivating photographic portraits; works from her recent series Bloodlines will be shown at Konsthallen Bohusläns Museum from 3rd December 2016 – 27 February 2017.
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