The Joy of Teamplay
or: Home to dress
Sabine von Bassewitz
The uniform has a bad reputation: considered synonymous with conformity, the exact opposite of individuality, it’s a concept that calls to mind the monotone rhythm of a military march. My work gives the uniform the opportunity to exist in a different light: Unisono presents people who voluntarily choose to wear uniforms and play a role within a structured group – and treat their uniforms with care and esteem.
Why do people join groups that require a uniform? The voluntarily worn uniform communicates the longing of the individual for a community defined by set rituals – and allows a person to examine and experience their group’s purpose from an intimate and unique perspective.
These purposes, like the groups themselves, vary. Apart from the general desire to achieve a sense of belonging, I was able to recognize specific motivations for joining a uniformed group, namely: religious, political, social, traditional, sexual, musical and sometimes various combinations thereof.
The uniform offers its wearer the possibility to visualise and ritualise a particular dimension of their personality.
Its figurative effect is important to the wearer, which is why each photograph had to be staged very carefully.
The work »Unisono« has received various awards, has been published and shown nationally as well as internationally in galleries and museums in numerous group and many solo exhibitions. It is also part of two permanent state collections.
»Sabine von Bassewitz’s series demonstrate her human integrity and obvious persuasive power to take awy people’s shyness to touch each other, undress or step into absurd uniforms, costumes and roles, confidently presenting their hobbies, jobs and penchants. As funny, drastic and grotesque as the pictures often are, the portrayed person is never denounced.«