The Struggle to Right Oneself is an impressive collection of scary self-portraits by photographer Kerry Skarbakka.
Kerry Skarbakka is a photographer who views photography as a philosophy. He explained how Martin Heidegger, a philosopher, believed that human existence is nothing more than a simple process of continuous falling. Applying this concept in photography may be a dangerous job, considering the fact that Skarbakka is shooting portraits of him falling, where timing must be perfect.
Shooting falling self-portraits
Photographer Kerry Skarbakka describes his work as a response to the current human condition, where many people have a dilemma: keep falling or struggle to hold on? There is no model better than himself, says the self-portrait photographer. Climbing gear is a necessity for Kerry, who puts himself in dangerous situations in order to take “plausible” photos.
Images must be realistic therefore it is necessary to put himself in danger, however he is taking several safety measures. The photographer says he does not see himself as a stuntman or a person who would “sacrifice to become art,” but personal injuries have occurred. If the climbing gear shows up in a photo, then he will remove it using Adobe Photoshop.
Sending an important message
Injuries are unavoidable, but sending a message to the viewer outweighs the risk. A connection must be established between the photos and the viewer, thus images have to look close to reality and viewers have to think that they could see themselves in such situations.
Kerry Skarbakka’s photography reminds people of how vulnerable they are and how important it is to keep their balance. His collection includes photos of him falling from a bridge, building, tree, bike, down the stairs, through a window, in the shower, and from an old-looking house.
The photographer recalls a bad moment from his career, when he was accused of not supporting the victims of the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks. He was performing a special show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, where he was being dropped of the roof of the building several times.
Kerry Skarbakka explained how it was all a big misunderstanding and how he would have never thought of that. Meanwhile, his amazing self-portrait photography continues to strike philosophical questions in the minds of the beholders.