From the 2021 series "S/KIN BERLIN: 52.49° N, 13.42° E."
"S/KIN BERLIN: 52.49° N, 13.42° E" is about people and bodies in revolt. The images focus on the body as a site of rebellion through which to interrogate themes of power, oppression, agency and opposition. It considers what we do to our bodies consensually and non-consensually, but also what our bodies are subject to at the hands of others.
Inspired by my own physical limitations at the beginning of this research, the photographs were made over the course of six weeks, in one room in Berlin; the container mirroring the restrictions of my body. The work was created through intimate collaboration with the participants, each of whom brought their own lived experiences to the stage. At the same time, it examines my artistic practices, accountability and culpability, looking at how I use the camera as a voyeur, enabling exhibitionism and living in solidarity while I explore the role of catalyst and ally. The manipulated images examine the traces on our bodies, both visible and invisible, highlighting the relationship between enabler and collaborator. The work focuses on agency in its precarious forms, challenging the audience’s assumptions of acceptability by unashamedly centering performance, gender identity and sexual exploration.
Alexa Vachon is a scholar, image maker and visual storyteller whose work focuses on themes including agency, the body, trauma, queer identity, power structures, and ethical responsibilities in visual representation. She’s drawn to issues that she has personal experience with, connecting with those who often don’t fit neatly into society’s boxes. After many years in New York (BFA, School of Visual Arts), Berlin (Meisterklasse, Ostkreuzschule), and The Hague (MA, Photography & Society), she is currently a 2nd year PhD student at Toronto Metropolitan University where her research focuses on the issues of ongoing and evolving consent in photographic representation.