“We are unknown to ourselves, we knowers: and for a good reason. We have never sought ourselves—how then should it happen that we find ourselves one day? [...] As for the rest of life, the so-called "experiences"— who of us even has enough seriousness for them? Or enough time? [...] Rather, much as a divinely distracted, self-absorbed person into whose ear the bell has just boomed its twelve strokes of noon suddenly awakens and wonders, "what did it actually toll just now?" so we rub our ears afterwards and ask, completely amazed, completely disconcerted, "what did we actually experience just now?" still more: "who are we actually?"[...] We remain of necessity strangers to ourselves, we do not understand ourselves, we must mistake ourselves.”


Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality (1887)



The Genealogy series was created as a collaboration with The Human Front magazine in which artists were asked to respond, in visual form, to a philosophical quote. Deciding on the above passage on identity from Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality (1887), the artist took as his physical point of departure, a series of his own self-portraits. These black and white images were printed, large-scale, as digital c-type prints, yet were later dramatically transformed using violent brush strokes, scratches and bleach to unfix and re-fix them, allowing them to emerge, finally, into colour. A series of new works were created by re-photographing in quick succession as these monochrome images metamorphosed into their new states with the originals being destroyed once their new identity had been revealed.

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