Continuing with an abiding interest in collective perceptions of history and relationships with the past, Naughten presents a spectacular series of portraits. As with Re-enactors, he is not so much interested in the individuals themselves as subjects, but the costumes being worn and their significance in forming a cultural identity.
In the case of the Hereros, it is the adoption of 19th Century European clothing, originally introduced to the Herero people by German missionaries, traders and immigrants during the time of the Deutsch-Südwestafrika.
Take out of the context of the subjects' everyday lives, the portraits are photographed against the stark backdrop of the Namib Desert. Each figure is isolated, bringing forth the vivid colors of fouminous petticoated gowns, cattle-horned-shaped head dresses and colorful military uniforms, to center stage in spectacular fashion. The unusual vantage point presents the subjects—although anonymous—as empowered, stoic and regal.
21'' x 17'' image | 24'' x 20'' sheet, EDITION: 10+2AP
47'' x 38'' image | 50'' x 41'' sheet, EDITION: 3+2AP
12'' x 28'' image | 14'' x 30'' sheet, EDITION: 10+2AP
21'' x 49'' image | 24'' x 51'' sheet, EDITION: 5+2AP