A publication that defines itself as on a "constant search for a more abstract and conceptual vision of what erotica is," Odiseo divided Vol. 10 into two parts - Utopia' and 'Dystopia.'
Kelia Anne, whose work delves into the fantastical, took that concept and ran with it.
Below is a glimpse into her process told through her own words and images.
Asepsis - Utopia is imagined through the idea of cleanliness. Gloves, masks, wipes. Sensual embraces intercepted by unnatural textures. The human touch is falsely represented, yet disease is eradicated. The human form is explored in a statuesque form, while sterile in a sensual and plastic environment.
Acrylic - As an exploration of a dystopian world where an obsession with youth and beauty has gone too far. The disdainful yearning for a desirable sensuality, 'enhancing' one's appearance to excess: long acrylic nails, sun exposure, revealing clothes. The absurdity and surreal elements feel familiar, yet distant in their reality.
Immediately channeling my religious upbringing, I tried to imagine what Utopia would be, since mostly everyone is trying to get ‘there’. Those ideas conflicted with my current understanding of how Utopia would manifest today. It’s funny, every Utopia I could imagine lacked a general human satisfaction. I imagined perfection to be sterile, cold, stripped of emotion or connection. Perhaps this is because we find joy and generally good emotions to contrast the bad, so without the bad, it felt neutral. Incorporating sensuality with neutrality, I imagined that reproduction would be necessary only for the biological aspects rather than the pleasurable.
Dystopia was heavily informed by the idea of excess, which felt terrifyingly close to contemporary culture. The idea of social media influencing the way we present ourselves; our desire to appear youthful, beautiful, and going to any length to attain that type of ‘perfection’ (again, going back to what everyone is trying to attain). Sensuality becomes a performance - giving into desires, wanting to be desired - without caring for the consequences.
The emotion my model portrayed in the Acrylic series was completely unplanned and brilliant. I had asked her to do the shoot without meeting her, so I was unsure of how my concept would be portrayed by her. Immediately after we started shooting, she just got it. She embodied this creepy dystopian mindset and really played it up more than I could’ve imagined. The shoot was so much fun - everyone was laughing at how ridiculous, and yet good, it feels to ham it up without being judged. The acrylic nail shots ended up being my favorite because they portray the idea of ‘excess’ the best. It demonstrates this desirable beauty aspect that makes your hands almost unusable, and it’s ironic. I like irony.
I wanted both series to feel surreal, and I wanted both to be a bit unsettling. I used clean, natural light for Utopia to stick to a heavenly yet strange world. I’m obsessed with colors, and I try to utilize them to strengthen the concept while also contributing to the general design and structure of my images. Blue is almost always understood as clean, sterile -- think of doctor’s scrubs, gloves, etc. -- so it worked quite well with Utopia. Dystopia was more gaudy. I wanted colors we might have painted our room when we were teenagers, still channeling youth and beauty.
layout by Jim Olofsson