So Happy Together
Collaboration with Nina Slejko

Conny Blom

A ballpoint pen furiously scratching the surface of a photograph. It is a ritualistic act. The face on the picture is long gone, and the surface of the photo paper is starting to rip. Layer upon layer of ink. But there is no escaping the figure on the picture. By destroying the face the shape is eternalized. The absence of recognizable features turns the figure into something much more general and eternal. When scratched out, crossed out, covered or masked the otherwise forgettable figures are transformed into something ghostlike, faceless and passive, but nevertheless demanding attention.
Dating back to ancient days and beyond, the defacing of the enemy’s imagery is a universal practice. By hurting the image of your enemy you hurt your enemy, by chopping off the nose of the statues of your enemy’s gods you take away their power. In black magic practices an image of the enemy can be created to gain power over the person.

"So Happy Together" is an archive of images found at an internet market place where people are selling their wedding dresses. In a wish to remain anonymous, the sellers have erased their faces in various more or less violent ways and posted the mutilated pictures next to their names and phone numbers. Even in this secularized world the image still seems to possess magic qualities; one does not want to let somebody else get control over the image of one’s face. But the surprising thing is that none of these people who have posted the pictures taken on the “most beautiful days in their lives” found it dreadful if they brutally mutilate their faces themselves.
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