Portrait Awards 2015
Project info

ID-Identity by Susanne Junker

For the project ID-Identity, Susanne Junker has undertaken an ongoing photographic journey documenting peoples process in their reaction, behavior and feeling in their definition of their own identity. The intention is to portray women while they ‘making-up’, but without the assistance of a mirror. The process takes place in front of Junkers camera.

The voluntary participants are invited into a situation whereby they lose their normal control of an everyday process where they define their usual self, and perhaps their own concept of their own beauty. This loss of self-control encourages the participants to express, a perhaps unknown, other facet of their identity, which is illustrated by their reaction. Some respond as automatic broken robots, trying to replicate their daily process, ‘mimicking’ their daily routines. For others the subconscious is exposed by their choice of colors and the order in which they use their make-up products. Some reveal a playful hidden self, some a darker aspect of themselves; others try to retain the traditional notions of femininity, while others revel in the opposite.

By the simple idea to remove the mirror from the process of applying make-up, every individual ID-Identity photo session has brought to light a wide and varied unseen side to female identity.

ID-Identity photographs to date have included approximately 200 participants in Europe and China, both in urban and rural environments. The intention is to capture 1000 portraits worldwide. Each participant has the boldness to display what Junker calls ‘the airbrushed eyes of society’ understands as imperfection. Those intimate moments captured by Junker, who sits silently opposite the participants behind her camera, she believes she turns into an ‘invisible mirror’ that peels back the layers, so as we look at the photographs we are also looking at ourselves.