The word ‘zoom’ suggests movement. Getting closer to something. Pushing forward to an intimate, personal space. Over decades advertisements have used these implications to connect messages of personal improvement, commercial success and authenticity to their products.This process was part of creating a constant desire for movement within our society. Trying to reach higher and further, while at the same time getting closer and more personal in the least amount of time possible.
But ‘zooming in’ is a very selective process. It chooses to show certain aspects the portrayer deems as valuable and cuts everything else out of the frame. This dynamic seems very similar to the understanding of individual movement. By pushing this strictly positive connotation of movement, we often end up with the depiction of a commercial ideal, while neglecting human weaknesses, any room for failure or the need to rest and rethink.
In the end this presentation of movement results in a very solution focused approach to life, rather than seeing it as trial and error. Based on these thoughts I created 8 photographs contrasting 8 print advertisements published between 1970 and today, trying to show the absurdity of their suggested solutions and the pressure they put on any individual through a demand for immediacy, narrow definitions of success and short term problem solving.At the same time I wanted to emphasize the positive sides to failure, conflict and having to overcome certain obstacles, since I feel like these moments force you to reflect and learn, teach empathy and understanding.Through portraying these mostly quiet, introverted moments I essentially wanted to create an antithesis to a commercial idea of ‘zoom’ and promote a more critical understanding of the desire for constant movement and it’s implications.
Nils Hansen is a director and photographer from Berlin, Germany.
See more of Hansen's work on his Instagram. // SHOP Hansen's VISCERAL8 prints here.