In 1828 a teenage boy surfaced in Germany claiming to have spent his entire childhood in a dark cell, with no contact from the outside world. What followed can’t be recounted with any great accuracy: Hauser was put into care but fled after being attacked (he claimed), accidentally shot (perhaps), and later stabbed (fatally). Some speculation will say he was a fallen decedent of royalty. Other accounts peg him as a storyteller craving the spotlight. Either way his name remains floating in popular history overlaid with a giant question mark.
Along with inspiring various film and literary references, Hauser’s story is the unlikely inspiration for a fashion shoot by Marjolein Audrey Banis featuring designs by Charlotte Kiekebos. Focusing not on the mystery of what really happened, Banis’ shoot looks instead at the world from Hauser’s point of view. If Hauser indeed spent his childhood in darkness, how did he see the world once in the light?
Colours are bright, overwhelming; a blue sky is both dauntingly endless yet beautiful. On pale skin, hidden from the light, the sun is a stranger. Makeup by Anika Roelink accentuates the pallidness of isolation.
A unique inspiration for a photoseries, you can view all of Marjolein Audrey Banis’ (dashdot.nl) Forgotten Subject at the gallery above.