In short

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Guy Tillim Wins HCB 2017 Prize Sponsored by Hermès

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PHOTO OF THE DAY
Guy Tillim, Union Avenue, Harare, 2016 © Guy Tillim, and Stevenson Gallery
Guy Tillim, Union Avenue, Harare, 2016 © Guy Tillim, and Stevenson Gallery

Call (Me) Girl deals with the way we understand and see the female body in contemporary Western society, by showing a woman’s body that does not correspond to the socially constructed ideal for ‘female beauty’ and ‘bodily perfection’. The breasts are small, the panties from another decade, the skin pale with scars and pimples. But the body is nevertheless alluring; it catches our gaze because it does not reflects the sexualized and objectified female body in contemporary fashion magazines, but reflects the non-retouched, unmodified and non-sexualised female body (despite its nakedness). ‘Body Errors’ such as pimples, scars, body hair and bruises that are usually taboo, are showcased without shame. And suddenly the bruises become beautiful against the pale skin; the scares form a pattern on the body. What we normally associate with the ugly and imperfect, which should be stored away and covered, are now considered beautiful and alluring.

At the same time the female body in ‘Call (Me) Girl’ is anonymous. In addition to being undressed, visible facial features are removed; the body itself is in focus.The body is both personal and intimate, but also a general body. It is a body we can relate to.

Marie Wengler