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Ben Rinner

January, 2012

Artist Ben Rinner is concerned in this series with images of the self. In part, he is attempting to explore and reflect our own perceptions – especially as they relate to the illusions photography is offering.

‘The Chemnitz Mirror Portraits’ takes as its starting point the seemingly simple act of looking at oneself. In creating these portraits Rinner hands over a huge amount of control to the person in pictures. He does this through the realization that how we see ourselves in the mirror is probably the most important perspective in the visual and mental constitution of our self.

Rinner developed a process that allowed people to photograph themselves as they appear in the mirror by using a special light set-up and a semi-transparent mirrored-glass. The subject/photographer simply stands in front of this mirror looking at their own reflection. The camera behind the mirror-glass is capturing exactly the scene that the person in front of the mirror sees in the mirror.

Each subject/photographer can choose for themselves just the right moment, the best look and the perfect expression. Via a hand-controlled pneumatic shutter release, the camera captures them exactly the way they have seen themselves in the mirror.

For this series Rinner asked each participant to take a representative portrait of themselves – a picture that would resemble the way they see themselves.

‘The Chemnitz Mirror Portraits’ presents portraits of different leading citizens of the German town of Chemnitz.

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