"Exactitudes," initially inspired by the street style of the late 90's, are photographic studies of the dress codes of Europe's diverse social groups. The name of the series is a contraction of "exact" and "attitudes" is a documentation of human nature and group identity. In 1994, photographer Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek, teamed up as artists after working together for a Dutch telecom company studying youth cultures. One of these rising youth cultures in the Netherlands was a hardcore techno-style Gabber. They took identical pictures of some guys wearing standard Gabber uniforms: colorful Italian tracksuits and an aggressive clean-shaven look. After analyzing the attraction of their formal repetition, they searched for more Gabbers that fit this uniform look.
Each artist had previously noticed the patterns in people's dress in art school. Clothing and the way people dress is a language where people can protest, communicate, write poetry or create sweeping statements. Exactitudes is an almost anthropological record of peoples attempt to distinguish themselves by assuming a group identity. The apparent contradiction between individuality and group identity or uniformity is the basis of are research and artworks. When you see the series for instance in gallery but also on our website you will see the group as first, later when you come closer to artwork or click on the series to zoom in you will encounter the individual. When you step back the similarities will take over strengthened by us by portraying the the individuals in a similar pose.
This is staged photography, so the poses are the same and the expectation is the same, but the clothes people wear are spontaneous and real. This project has been going on for twenty years and has continued because people and fashion will always continue to change and new groups will continue to emerge. I really love this exploration of fashion, art, photography and modern society. It is incredible to see how interlocked all of us are and I think that even though they are not the best way to do so, clothing and a personal uniform is an outward portrayal of that identity.
I am an art student at Maggie Walker and this is the place where I talk about what we're making and what we're learning... Through this I can pour out my heart about my artistic experience.