'Misunderstanding Focus', 27 Quivering Portraits by Nerhol

published in: Graphics, Art, Photography By Despina Pavlaki, 23 July 2012

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 photo © Hiiroshi Manaka and Yoshiharu Ota

Here’s something you didn’t know: humanity can’t sit still! Unless you’ve mastered some mystical Oriental technique of definitive immobility, you’ve most probably noticed your blood flow is impossible to control and even when you’re doing your best not to move a muscle, your blood continues to circulate causing the slightest wavering in your centre of balance. Fascinated by the impossibility of immobility, the Nerhol collective asked 27 subjects to pose for a nearly imperceptible 3-minute time lapse then stacking all the photographs together in a beautifully distorted pile. The resulting portrait series is a tribute to mortality rather than vanity - a gentle reminder that our bodies keep changing every second of every day!

The mysterious Nerhol collective - one part conceptual art, one part good ol’ fashioned sculpture - was founded in 2007 combining a respective passion for fine art and graphic design. In this partnership, Yoshihisa Tanaka conceives the ideas and Ryuta Iida fleshes them out, which makes for a killer combination of tactile and abstract. You don’t have to take my word for it: a look back on their early collaborations reveals a series of books resembling mountain tops that have been thoroughly stripped of their initial use. Surgically removing certain sections out of every page, Nerhol transformed conventional reading material into a multi-dimensional ''objet d’art'' which that will never be read again.

photo © Shintaro Yamanaka

 photo © Hiiroshi Manaka and Yoshiharu Ota

Combining elements from already established art forms, the two create their own hybrids that some traditionalists would deem as sacrilegious. We however, believe that there’s no man alive that won’t tip his hat to their ingenuity. Take photography for example. A highly prestigious field in its own right, it is unlikely that it would ever welcome two virtual unknowns with open arms. Thanks to their time-lapse portraits however, they have found a shortcut to its pulsating heart. Here’s how: ''Misunderstanding Focus'' is pretty similar to an onion with the top sliced off: you ask a willing subject to sit still for three minutes (smiling is of course optional), you take an infinite amount of photographs in the interim and then stack them together in a neat pile. Using the sculpting equivalent of a surgical scalpel, you slice through the pile horizontally, revealing a layered effect that accurately depicts the passage of time.

What you get is not so much a photographic portrait as your quivering essence, the truest version of yourself who will never, ever sit still!

photo © Shintaro Yamanaka

 

 photo © Hiiroshi Manaka and Yoshiharu Ota

photo © Shintaro Yamanaka

photo © Shintaro Yamanaka

 photo © Hiiroshi Manaka and Yoshiharu Ota

photo © Shintaro Yamanaka

 photo © Hiiroshi Manaka and Yoshiharu Ota

photo © Shintaro Yamanaka

photo © Shintaro Yamanaka

 photo © Hiiroshi Manaka and Yoshiharu Ota

 photo © Hiiroshi Manaka and Yoshiharu Ota

photo © Shintaro Yamanaka

photo © Shintaro Yamanaka

 photo © Hiiroshi Manaka and Yoshiharu Ota

 photo © Hiiroshi Manaka and Yoshiharu Ota

sources:

Nerhol, designboom

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