Joana Choumali | Emotions à Nu
Underneath whatever we're wearing, no matter how aesthetically compelling it might be, is a common human experience we all share: being in our bodies. The relationship between what we wear and the bodies underneath our clothing is so complex. We can use our clothing to establish a greater connection with our physical, mental, and emotional bodies- I guess you'd call that dressing authentically or self-acceptance. Or we can use it almost as an illusion or a mirage- something to distract ourselves or others from who we really are, or to convince ourselves that our dressed body is somehow different than the one we inhabit. I don't think that either is inherently good or bad. Part of fashion's power is that it can make us feel, at least temporarily, like we're in a second skin. But when you strip the clothes away, take the accessories off, and remove the makeup- when there's nothing left to hide behind, there we are, in all of our humanity. Joana Choumali's project, Emotions à Nu, or Bare Emotions reminded me of the power and beauty of the common experience we share under our clothes. She describes the work as follows:
"'Being naked this is nothing to hide, It is not even need words because the body speaks for itself.' - Victor Lévy Beaulieu. 'Emotions à nu' is a series of female portraits without a face. As the 'naked truth,' human, beautiful unadorned, without makeup. Women are plural, fragile and strong. This work is an intimate journey, an emotional state to another, a quiet quest towards physical self-acceptance and serenity."
I found her images captivating, beautiful and honest. What do you think?