What is Emma Aars Silent About?

Self-portraits of a Scandinavian Lolita.

What is Emma Aars Silent About?

There is something truly magnetic in the image of the 15 year old Emma Aars. Maybe it's her pointy ears or the kind of face that is like an engulfing orifice. However, most likely it's the in-between age space where sexuality is already obvious but is still a taboo. Then there's only subtext and cultural dust that's left.

Aars has been making self-portraits since she was 13. Just staying silent while the music is playing, looking at the screen of her Mac. Sometimes she smokes or brushes her teeth. But exactly this gazing "silence" – this evocative question-stare – illustrates the childhood, which is forbidden to express its own reality in contemporary society.

The language of Aars traveling across the lips accompanied by "Everybody wants 2 have you baby" is forced to copy the patterns of the adult world. It's inspired by the sublime: the childhood at its totality, the kind of childhood where there's not only unicorns and fairies.

This is us: the culture where truth is stigmatized. The culture of shame, guilt and church weathervanes. The culture of dolls that don't have genitals. The culture of fear where detached asceticism is preferred to reality.

Can one hope for the harmonious development of society when we deny ourselves at the very dawn, at the very core of our own individuality?

 

Emma Aars by Antonella Arismendi

Emma Aars by Antonella Arismendi

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SYNDROMES (Dir. Kristoffer Borgli, 2011)