The digital “working on oneself” to the point of achieving a supposed optimum in a user-generated reality pushes Christiane Peschek to the limits of her own physicality in her new series entitled BOYS LIKE ME. The temporal and spatial gap between the production of bodies and their construction are here no longer bound to physical existence. She transforms her body based on a body language of the internet, questioning the gender and binary legibility of images in a culture of the attractive.
With the help of image optimization tools such as face filters and skin repair stamps, retouching in Peschek’s imagery becomes a possibility of fluid body appropriation. In countless passes, the (self-)retouch on the screen becomes a repetitive-ritual game of self-optimization. The body modifications ultimately culminate in the blurring and erasure of the depicted subjects. FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION. In this case, Peschek appropriates bodies read as male, thereby addressing the multifunctionality of identity.
The digital, often associated with disembodiment, becomes a statement of the intangible. The face, status of identity, is dispossessed of the provocation of the gaze and allows a second look behind the facade of the “face”. Christiane Peschek propagates the right to blur in an image culture characterized by high-res and close-up.