The Veil of the Invisible
Photographic imprints of perspiration
Blurred images of faces and bodies emerge from behind a dark veil. The faces, most of which feature closed eyes, exude an unusual tranquility and intensity. These are not commonplace photographic portraits, but rather imprints of people that resulted from a condition of heat, of state of renewal. Instead of light that is reflected by an object, human sweat serves as a catalyst of a chemical depiction process that renders visible traces of faces and bodies on cotton fabric. These are neither photographs in the actual sense, nor photograms—the secret lies somewhere in the middle: there is a physical contact between those represented and their representations—the ‘object’ itself is producing the substance that is required for the image—a process of abrasion.
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT in Munich are conducting research on perspiration. For this photographic work, they produced a special sensor colorant, which is able to make sweat permanently visible.