Nominee DuPho. SO Award 2022
“In my series ‘Daylight’, I am looking for a field of tension between portraits that are on the one hand picturesque, subdued, sometimes a bit dreamy, and on the other hand true to life.
When I started taking photographs, people got really excited when they got close to a photo and could see every little wrinkle. Then the person in the photo became tangible. Now people are excited if the person in the photo is perfectly polished. I think it’s great what you can do with photo editing. But the fact that we have become so used to looking at manipulated images also contributes to our perception of beauty being totally conditioned and distorted. As a result, people feel pressurised to have to comply with an image, which in my opinion has nothing to do with beauty.
It doesn’t matter if I watch dance, theatre, film or photography. I am only touched when I see something that is real, when I see real people. I like it when a face or a body tells a story. That is beauty for me.
And I think it is important that we continue to see everything that makes people human as something beautiful, and not as imperfection or lack. If you take away everything that makes someone vulnerable, you also take away everything that allows us to recognise ourselves in the other person.”
The stillness touches in Susanne Middelberg’s series. The ingredients for a series about honesty, complexity and contrast were the photographer, the people she captures and daylight. Nothing more and nothing less. On this the jury says, “The absence of the photographer produces a beautifully poetic image.