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1/11 — 154. United Americans - Amsterdam 2014



The "Exactitudes" Photo Project Questions Group Identity

Dutch artists Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek have been identifying and photographing social groups since 1994, for a project that they call “Exactitudes.” A purposeful combination of “exact” and “attitudes,” the series, which now clocks in at over 150 photographs, is stylized as an anthropological study: the website, for example, even features a museum-style voiceover for each image.

Each group–be it “emos,” “yupsterboys,” or “worldly gentlemen“–comes complete with its own visual vocabulary: certain signs that the artists associate with the desire for individuality within a shared identity. Is it possible, then, to consider yourself a part of a group, but remain yourself? Versluis and Uyttenbroek pose the question and complicate it by staging each subject with scientific precision, collapsing the differences between them. Perhaps, for them, fashion remains a tool for the assumption of self-elected stereotypes; but then again, they’re also the ones selecting the samples and curating the stereotypes. While you may call yourself “emo” and an individual at the same time, by purposefully choosing subjects that look alike and posing them in the same way, do the artists disagree?

All images via Exactitudes

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