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Hannah Collins

Galerie Xavier Hufkens | 107 rue St-Georges

The large-scale photograph tacked to the wall seems to picture a woman with hair covering her entire body. Her bare feet step over shafts of wheat. Here Hannah Collins portrays a scene which is both more and less than it appears to be. The photograph is a piece of evidence rather than documentation, demonstrating process rather than definition. In Hair (all works, 1989), reflection reveals that the subject is not necessarily a woman; by denying the viewer a glimpse of the face—covered with hair and photographed from the back—Collins puts the question of gender up for grabs. Collins focuses on the ambiguity of the image and its resistance to categorization. Unlike Joel Peter Witkin, whose images jolt the viewer, Collins’ works require us to decipher the nature of the subject itself. If there is anything blatant in these photographs, it is their hermetic quality. Occupying a border zone

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