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The Making of ‘Posture’
In Conversation with Rita Lino

For our Pre Fall ‘22 editorial series entitled ‘Posture', we collaborated with photographer and visual artist Rita Lino to explore the art of body language through a Berlin-based cast. While Lino started out shooting for magazines, her personal practice turns the camera towards herself, as she explores the line between natural emotion and manufactured postures.

In a similar approach, an inspiration for the series is the 1979 photographic study ‘Let’s Take Back Our Space’ by German photographer Marianne Wex. Through a blend of sociology, art history, and pop culture, Wex suggests that the way we hold ourselves can speak volumes about how we see our place in the world. Wex took photographs of people on the streets of Hamburg in different positions, studying their unconscious poses and how they align with accepted social and gender codes of the time.

But as society steadily calls conventions of all kinds into question, Lino takes to the streets of Berlin to conduct her own visual study. Through her lens, body language loses some of its former labels to become both more universal and individual. Lino sits down with us to share her view and discuss the making of ‘Posture’.
Words: Angela Waters
Images: Rita Lino
Aeyde: Why do you think Marianne Wex’s work still resonates today and how did it inspire the ‘Posture’ editorial series?

Rita Lino: Her photographic study deals with how people express themselves and how people are understood by others—this is something that will always be fascinating, in the same way that all forms of communication are. We didn’t set out to make a 2022 copy of Wex’s work, but the element of the project that we focused on for inspiration was the idea of showing the organic positions in which subjects felt most comfortable and confident. Instead of directing models towards a certain stance, I simply asked them to sit how they normally would.
A: Can you tell a difference in comfort levels as people take on different postures?

RL: Most people will feel more comfortable in a seated position, because there are less variables to think about. Asking someone to stand in front of the camera is probably one of the biggest challenges, because there is so much that you can do and you are constantly aware of your weight shifting. One of the hardest things for most people is figuring out what to do with their hands. If people have pockets, they will usually try to stand with their hands inside them to get out of making that decision. It may take a little time, but there is a moment of stillness where people’s energy quiets down and you realize that they have reached a position of comfort. It usually happens more quickly when seated than standing, but if someone stands in front of a camera for long enough it will eventually happen.

A: Is there something about Berlin that encourages people to break from expectations?

RL: In many ways, Berlin is a harsh city; the winters are rough, but also, people are not falling over themselves to be nice to you. As someone who has lived here for the better part of a decade, you learn that existing in this city means that you have been able to build up a layer of defense to protect yourself. This is something you can see a lot on the streets with more laid-back androgynous styles and an air of independence. Still, some of the toughest people I know in this city are those that are able to show a softer side, because you have to be strong enough to stand against people’s expectations and do something different. It is as though you have to first become tough and from there you can truly start to develop.
A: What are the biggest influences on body language?

RL: Body language has so much to do with how you were brought up. If you went to a strict school growing up, you probably learned a lot about posture there—even if you spent your time afterwards trying to unlearn it. But if you went to a school in a small Portuguese fishing village, like me, you found out about the different ways of holding yourself later in life. Movies and music also have such a big influence on how we model ourselves. But on the other hand, there are internal factors that have such a large influence on body language—it often shows how you are feeling. It’s definitely an intersection of many factors.

Discover the editorial on aeyde.com and follow the full series on our Instagram.



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