“It’s like being a policeman. You analyze people the minute they are in front of you. It can be very subtle. Shoes say a lot.” – Ari Versluis, Dutch Photographer

Ari Verslui and his creative partner Ellie Uyttenbro size people up the minute they meet them. They’re not judgmental per se, they’re just accustomed to categorizing people according to style and attitude.

You see, Verslui and Uyttenbro have been scanning the crowds for similar identities for years. This is all a part of their creative process for, “Exactitudes,” a photographic collection that explores the dress codes of various social groups. Their project is rooted in a basic theory: humans use clothing, behavior, and attitude to reflect originality and identity. Versluit and Uyttenbro both explore and demystify the concept of originality in their work by handpicking pedestrians who fit a specific identity to model their “look” in a studio photo shoot. Photos are then organized by social group and fit into a grid, defusing the appearance of individuality and originality. Photographed subjects represent such social groups as “teknohippies,” “bimbos,” and “gabberbitches.”

The fifth and most recent edition of “Exactitudes” features social identities culled from the Italian café scene. Photographic stills of sweater-frocked, prickly-bearded male “Americanos” and tight-lipped, fur-ensconced women of a certain age, a.k.a”Sciura Decaffeinatas” are featured. A compelling and interesting study in the incongruities between originality and conformity in style, this is a creative project to keep an eye on. Most importantly, Verslui and Uyttenbro dare to challenge the human quest for a special and unique identity. Their work invites everyone, even those who classify themselves as subcultural, to ask: “How original are we?”

To read more about the new edition of “Exactitudes” click here. Or here.

Advertisements