De Portretterie, 2008.
Joris van Oosterwijk & Luis Xertu
The Potretterie is a theatrical photographic installation originally designed for the festival center of the Tweetakt theater festival, which is often attended by children.
It consists of an exotic photo studio with a green-screen in which the visitor enters, where a portrait is taken. After leaving, the portrait is inserted into one of 25 different environments, depending on the type of person. A single old-fashioned postcard is then printed for the visitor to take home. The postcards are free, but only one print can be taken, and no replacements are made.
The Portretterie finds its core in vulnerability and the value of a unique object. At first sight all postcards have very infantile-looking images on them, but upon closer look, all the themes are about isolation, tragedy, and vulnerability.
The result is an image both beautiful and confronting on a single unique object. The object calls for being kept, regardless of the first impression of the visitor, which in many cases can be that of rejection. The purpose for this is to give the visitors a chance to find the postcard again - days, weeks or months later - and re-conciliate with their vulnerability.
This installation has been presented in several festivals since, including the Carnevale dei Ragazzi of the Venice Biennale, the Kaap biennale and Motel Mozaique.