Odo Hans

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Human Surfaces

Dagmar Burkhart

In an age which celebrates skin-beauty in the sense of a smooth, hairless and spotless surface, Hans has recourse to the artistic resource of “making strange” that was demanded by the Russian Formalist Viktor Schklowski in 1916 in order to de-automate perception and steer it towards the essential. By bringing out the skin’s surface with every pigment spot, every wrinkle or bulge-like unevenness, with thickets of hair or shaved stubble as pointillist skin-rasterization, Hans compels the beholder into genuine seeing, as though the phenomenon were stepping before his eyes for the first time. Thus, in the found object SKIN (“objet trouvé” in the sense of object art) he allows a kind of landscape to arise, which calls on the beholder to reflect on beauty – or ugliness – in its relation to the natural, but also on the condition humaine in general. Odo Hans artistically enigmatic segment-photographs of furrowed, bulging, hairy or shaved human skin, scattered with pigmentation, show elements of Abstract Expressionism and thus generate a new kind of access to the body, including its grotesque dimensions with the likes of Mikhail Bakhtin in mind.

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