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Essay ► Arnon Grunberg

► Jesse Faber Photographs 1996-2019

Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

1996 – 1998

Photographs


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► Joseph Beuys

“Jeder Mensch ist ein Künstler.”


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Contents


► P9 Introduction

Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein Photographs 1996-1998

► P13

► P71 Arnon Grunberg The animal who lives in its imagination

► P89

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Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein Photographs 2018-2019


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Introduction


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► Self portrait 1995

► Dance mask, Lombok

My fascination with masks began in my early childhood. As a small boy, I went with my parents on a trip to Indonesia in the 1970s where I encountered the expressive wooden face masks of Lombok and the elegant puppets used for the traditional Wayang theatre. When I later saw the first Star Wars films, a narrative that revolves around the removal of a mask, I decided to become a special makeup artist and used friends and family members as my canvases to experiment on. As I grew older, the desire to make masks transformed into something deeper: the desire to become a visual artist with a focus on the human face. I began by creating a series of self portraits at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague. The photos showed my face, mutilated with fake scars and blood, as if I had just staggered out of a boxing ring. Some time later I began the photo series that I now call Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein, presented in this photography book. On each of the photos in this series, a face is partly hidden beneath a mask assembled from paper scraps, pieces of tape and other kinds of mundane materials. The first part of the series (pages 13-69) was shot with an analogue 6x6 Hasselblad between 1996 and 1998. I created batches of twelve photos at a time, a number determined by the amount of negatives on the film rolls I used.


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Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


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1996 – 1998

Photographs 1996-1998

Photographs


14 ►

Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


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► Mensch 1 1996

1996 – 1998

Photographs


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Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


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► Mensch 2 1996

1996 – 1998

Photographs


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► Mensch 17 1996

Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


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► Mensch 3 1996

1996 – 1998

Photographs


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► Mensch 18 1996

Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


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Mensch 7 1996

1996 – 1998

Photographs


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Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


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â–ş

The animal who lives in its imagination

â–ş

The animal who lives in its imagination

Arnon Grunberg


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► Mensch 138 2019

Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


Arnon Grunberg ►

The animal who lives in its imagination ►

Other animals may be as ignorant on this subject as we are – does the dog know who he is? – but other animals appear not to give a damn.

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“It would be sane now to work out how we have become the only animals who can’t bear themselves,” psychoanalyst Adam Phillips writes in his book Going Sane – Maps of Happiness. Of course, not everyone would agree with this statement. Some would point to others and claim that we can bear ourselves all too well, we could talk about the endless self-love of colleagues, family members, neighbors, perhaps even lovers and say, “Look at all these people being in love with themselves, if only it could be a bit less.” Yes, the accusation of narcissism has become trite, who has not been accused of it? Who has not accused someone else of being a narcissist? Perhaps narcissism is just self-hatred in disguise. But whether we love ourselves too much or are disgusted with ourselves too passionately, Adam Phillips is right to state that our relationship with ourselves is not self-evident. If we are the only animals who can’t bear themselves that must be because we are the only animals who don’t know who we are, and we want to know it, with a passion. Our survival seems to depend on it. If we could know who we are, if we could know what we really want, Adam Phillips never tires of telling us, if our desires would be less frightening, then life would be easier and better for it.


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Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


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2018 – 2019

Photographs 2018-2019

Photographs


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▼ Mensch 134 2019

► Mensch 75B 2019

Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


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2018 – 2019

Photographs


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▼ Mensch 128 2019

Mensch 75B 2018

Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


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2018 – 2019

Photographs


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Mensch 85 2018

Mensch 88 2019

▼ Mensch 131 2019

Mensch 87 2018

► Mensch 86 2018

Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


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2018 – 2019

Photographs


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Mensch 67 2018

Mensch 62 2019

▼ Mensch 132 2019

Mensch 75 2018

► Mensch 65 2018

Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein ►

Jesse Faber


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2018 – 2019

Photographs


The photo series Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein by Amsterdam-based artist Jesse Faber is a reaction to the dialogue between two of the most important artists of the last century: Joseph Beuys, who once said ‘Jeder Mensch ist ein Künstler’, and Martin Kippenberger, who responded ‘Jeder Künstler ist ein Mensch’. This book, published in celebration of Faber’s 20th anniversary as an artist, contains a selection of Faber’s masked portraits shot in the 1990s with a 6x6 Hasselblad camera, and a new series of portraits recently shot by the artist. Dutch author Arnon Grunberg has enriched the book with an extensive essay on Faber and his work process. Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein employs humour to deal with the role of identity in our daily lives. But the series also poses serious questions: can we really express who we are to the outside world? Or do we need masks to protect ourselves?

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Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein  

Jesse Faber

Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein  

Jesse Faber

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