One other project that found Saage, on a more serious note and most recently, is a collaboration with Vanessa Del Rae, a sex therapist – the partnership that unveiled, in the form of Sex Deluxe
, a generously illustrated book published to worldwide acclaim and massive press attention, the topic of human sexuality in the elders. Sexuality in later life has been considered somewhat of a taboo subject, fraught with prejudices and uncertainties, an incongruity, oddity, almost aberration triggering embarrassment in conversation, let alone on exposure. But slowly, the inhibitions on the issue are caving in – so much to Carolin Saage's credit, whose photography is so sensual and as much powerful it cracks the boulders of stereotypes.
Her work in avant-garde fashion and cutting-edge performance art with BirdMilk Collective
aside (as well as her periodic engagements with Die Welt, Freestyle, Groove, Interview, Spiegel, to name a few), she takes her talents and "will to change" further down the road of mainstream psycho-social phenomena – aiming at a paradigm shift in mass mentality. Her recent photographic series up for exhibition and public scrutiny concerns the topic of gender identity and transgender issues visually helping to un-trap persons from their wrong bodies and so many unfortunate others – from the gluey darkness of hostile preconceptions.
Currently the artist is on the daring exploratory journey, from the outside to the inside, probing into the multiplicity of human subjectivity, seeking to capture the space between who
someone is and his or her persona. "His or her" are the keywords here with Saage's focus on the semi-private lives (as private as they get in front of the camera) of drag queens, gender-ambiguous identities. Her new project is a crossover field research involving deep intrapersonal photography and Semiotics, or, to put it into the Eternal Recurrence perspective, re-engaging Diane Arbus
and Roland Barthes
. Consciously or not, Saage connects to the former, the "Wizard of Odds", through her interest in The Difference ("of birth, accident, choice, belief, predilection, inertia") with eccentricities welling up out of her pictures, and to the later – through her theoretical fascination with masks ("Mask is the meaning"). The photographer encounters the drags in public, as most of us do and where they belong as distinct cultural phenomena, and follows to observe them in private, where their exaggerated image is hot-showered down, succumbing to the demands of Monday, into mundane, prosaic normalcy. Thus exposing their real drama. And, in a sense, metaphorically – all ours.
It is above all these works that overcome themselves most demonstratively transcending the definition of mere
art and their serviceability as entertainment, promoting social values and manifesting the artist's high cultural ambitions that reveal her real inner strength and fecundity. Attuned with its overarching philosophy that exhorts "doing and being more" steering spiritual evolution, it is the meaningfulness of her oeuvre
, either radical or explicit, that explains Carolin Saage's presence in the project Scorpios 2015 as non-incidental and very purposeful.