Holger Pooten was awarded the Photoworks Prize at last year's London College of Communication Photography Degree Show for his project Spiegellabyrinth


The piece, whose title derives from the German word for “House of Mirrors”, explores fundamental elements of photography and discusses the notions of space, body-image and the role of the photographer.

My work takes findings from the writings of Bataille, Agamben, Bakhtin and Manovich and, among others, the work of Hans Breder. Spiegellabyrinth refuses a coherent narrative; it is a variety of themes that are woven together into one piece and offers multiple layers of meaning to the viewer.

On one layer it is about the role of the photographer as the creator of the image who is present in them without being directly visible. This presence is indicated through the installation of mirrors that reflect the white walled, artificial environment of the studio and the tools of the photographic process, the stands, cables and remains of position marks on the floor.

My work also explores the fragility of the photographical construction and representation of space and perspective and the body in relation to this. It only takes a few reflective surfaces that follow the simplest of physical laws to defy the usual interpretation of the pictured and what we associate with it and the results are ambivalent.

And it is about identity, self-reflexivity and the relationship between the photographer and the model, their conspiracy and their shared agenda. I have chosen to work with photographer and performance artist Jocelyn Allen as we share a common understanding of performance and the representation of the body. Spiegellabyrinth is not about gender and to stick with the initial idea to collaborate with Jocelyn was to a degree a stubborn response to what I felt was a routine criticism of a male artist picturing a nude female model.

See more of Holger Pooten’s work here.

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