You might have heard about or seen photographer Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek’s ongoing project ‘Exactitudes’, whereby they have been snapping photos of people since 1994 in locations all over the world, focusing on people in particular ‘style tribes’. You end up asking whether individuality actually exists because by their definition, by portraying these people in similar poses in a repetitive 3 x 4 format, they end up blurring into one monotonous image. So called ‘sub-culture’ groups like goths, punks and emos who define themselves as ‘individual’ and ‘different’ end up allying themselves into something that makes them NOT different.
Of course, not all their subjects are actively seeking style individuality so it therefore makes it an even more interesting take on things as Uyttenbrokek and Versluis have taken to the streets of London to identify the different ‘style tribes’. It might seem offensive to the some that their style might be pigeonholed this way but it does end up revealing a funny truth.
The existing Exactitudes photographs are now on display at Selfridges but the new works on London style will be on display to the public from the 4th April, I believe, with a new book coming out at the end of the exhibition that includes the London pieces. Here are a few sneak pics featured in yesterday’s Guardian magazine. I’ll be interested in seeing the full set of images to see whether they have captured London style correctly as an overview, and also to affirm my belief that style individuality can still escape this mode of categorisation.
Oriental (US say ‘Asian’) girls with their designer bags
Cardi-clad, geek-chic boys
Scarf-loving, short-haired emo chicks