Tobias Slater-Hunt

From the series Closer to God

"Closer to God is a series of anthropological fictions are part of the on going Ascension project. These are images of what Dante referred to as the virtuous pagans. Those residing on the upper most levels of Hell. Those born without the light of God and whose only sin it is, is that they lived without the faith in God. And so they spend eternity saturated by the light of human reason, eternally in the knowledge that they will be forever without God. This fragment of the series, seeks to privilege the surface of both the sitter, and the surface of the image, an inquiry into what Clement Greenberg termed ‘transparency of the photograph’. These fictions, these strange physiologies, are based on the paintings of Cranach and Grunewald, drawing a line though Da Vinci’s grotesques to the present day practice of photographic portraiture, to question what is real. By utilizing modern technologies these photographs now have the same expressive possibilities previously only afforded to paintings. By using these technologies in a subversion of the norm, i.e to disfigure, mutate and expose flaws rather than to edit them out, I seek to reference the old mechanisms of picture making; considerations of composition, use of light and finally just what the human figure should or could look like. Obviously manipulated, the hand of the Artist is exposed, a confession perhaps or a portrait?”

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