Corina Gertz: The Averted Portrait (Paperback)
A photographic meditation on the semiotics of clothing
German photographer Corina Gertz explores clothing as nonverbal communication--symbolic of standing and status, group membership, regional identity, religious denomination and official function. The Averted Portrait showcases an ongoing series of the same name that Gertz began in 2010. As the title suggests, Gertz shoots her figures from behind; by "averting" the camera from her subjects' faces, she subverts the portraiture genre. She casts attention instead to her subjects' clothing, photographing women from around the world wearing traditional national dress. The clothing alone articulates their identities, connoting local wisdom, conventions, customs and practices. Gertz celebrates these cultural particularities, on both an aesthetic and sociopolitical level, depicting the various forms of dressing as distinct but equally precious: splendid fabrics with sumptuous embroidery shine with sculptural and painterly intensity against a deep black background, captured in a clear, expressive composition.