Visual communication within Avito is based on the exchange of visual messages consisting of pictures of goods and watermarks that prove that the pictures belong to Avito. When a product or service is offered, then the photograph portrays the good itself or the result of the service in the most informative and attractive fashion from the point of view of the owner of the posting.
If the subject of the post is the owner himself, then usually the photographs create the needed form. These should confirm the personal qualities of the owner and attractively reflect his commonness, and witness to his successes, competence and skill.
One post from the «Personals» section caught my attention; the user had attached a self-portrait analogous to a passport photo.
These incredibly informative images, usually used for personal identification yet posted to Avito, place the viewer into a stupor.
This stupor arising from the excess of the photograph like an image and the lacking of a simultaneous visual message doesn’t allow one to embed the pictures into the frame of basic communication but simply to thoroughly examine them.
I peer into portrait’s details as far as i can see. I must use something to go deeper.
Here I present fragments, that attracted my attention, of a portrait that I selected using Google images of subjects from various posts on Avito. I am trying to remedy the shortages which render visual communication impossible by completing the portraits with the form in which they turned out.
I was drawn to the creation of this series by an interest in self-presentation in specific conditions and the desire to understand what dictates it’s form — the subject or the surroundings.
Is it possible to consider these portraits a gesture of rejection of cliché or are they simplifications connected to the desire to imbed oneself into set system of representation of things.
Examining the portraits I noticed that I am subconsciously placing myself in the spot of the people that are represented on the portraits.
According to Hans Belting’s theory of «living medium»: we try to make the medium and the images belong to it, vivid, the medium try to become the analogue of our body.
And further i asked myself what exactly interact between me, spectator and portrait? Was the picture manipulated by me or was i manipulated by the picture?