Global photo art process by Wolf Nkole Helzle
Note: The detailed website for this project will be launched at www.faces-of-humankind.org in the course of August 2022.
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In 1997, I began to take photographic portraits of people. In doing so, I explored the question of how I could imagine being a six-billionth. Of something in an order of magnitude I could not adjust. In the early years, I used a morphing programme to calculate the transitions from one face to the next. The result was projected onto a suitable surface in large format.
The work kept evolving and in 2012 I was able to develop software that allowed me to layer all the faces of an event in a highly transparent way. From that point on, the result consisted of all individual portraits as well as a collective portrait.
With this work I was invited nationally and internationally to media art festivals and exhibitions, by companies and institutions, by cities and also by private individuals. In the meantime, I have been able to collect well over 50,000 portraits, in four continents and more than 30 countries.
In 2021, travel was not possible because of the pandemic, so I invented a new way to get portraits. I wrote to various organisations in all African countries asking them to put me in touch with photographers. In this way I got about 2,000 portraits from 18 countries on the African continent.
This now opens up new possibilities to also get in touch with continents I have not been able to visit yet: Australia, Oceania and South America. I am very interested in FACE(S) OF HUMANKIND ecomposed of faces from all continents.