For over 15 years the assignment and press photographer Christian Lanz has been making portraits of cultural, art and business celebrities, the so-called “prominence.” About three years ago he began asking his subjects, almost casually, not only to pose in the usual flattering way, but to do something unusual as well: to allow him to take a picture of them with their eyes closed. A very unusual project emerged from this idea—an attempt to see a class of people who are more or less routinely photographed, and whose poses had become second nature, in a new and different way.
What seemed like a simple trick, closing one’s eyes, in reality disclosed a subtle and effective magical transformation. A new personality appeared, one that apparently had never been seen before, and which seemed at times even foreign. The magic of the inward pose. The observer’s view is transformed as it wanders calmly and unhindered across the facial landscape, freed of central aesthetic factors of effect calculated by the professional pose. What unexpected surprise at the overwhelming intimacy that lies on the skin and seeps out of the pores. The revelations that lurk behind closed eyelids.
“Until now I was convinced that the eyes led directly to the soul. Today I still think this is true, but that we consciously use our eyes to reach our goals, that we instrumentalize them. It is very exciting to see what else is there when the eyes are gone. I asked Fredi Murer if he wanted to participate in this project. He answered: I would prefer to be photographed naked with my eyes open than fully dressed with my eyes closed! He understood it perfectly.” (Christian Lanz)