Elke Desutter: OPEN CALL

Open call for anonymous models of the body

KAOS 2022 Festival of Contemporary Collage
June 7, 8 and 12 2022
Layer House


During her stay as an artist in residence at KAOS 2022 in Layer House, Belgian artist Elke Desutter will launch a new Open Call for Models. Models can register with her to anonymously submit a part of their body in front of her camera. This will happen in a private space where you can discuss which part you want to have photographed. The models’ donated body parts determine how her work will look. Some models choose to share a lot of their bodies, others share scars and stories. It often happens that models share body parts that they would otherwise not show, mentally ‘giving’ them away to her to work with and create something new. The body represents EVERYBODY and NOBODY, becoming one within her work and a part of her archive of parts.


If you want to contribute to this project or have any questions, please email


Artist Elke Desutter is while creating a new piece of art, fascinated by creating one’s own visual language by means of images, manipulating and controlling the matter completely. Her starting point is a fascination with the human body and how we relate to that body. She takes the body out of its context and it becomes something new by using media such as video, photocollage, and installation, she explores the body in all its forms. The body is literally objectified, but not as an object of lust. Body parts are reduced to objects and shapes that are combined to make up a larger mass of bodies. Ultimately we are all flesh and blood. The body is often sexualized. Everybody undergoes multiple changes in their body. From child to young adult to adult and to senior. Lots of those changes make us dwell more on the body and its needs and desires. Although this lust and desire is often a topic when the naked body is used or presented. It is not what drives her work. She wants to remove the sexualization completely and disconnect the body from its known shape and form. The body is too often sexualized. This continued sexualization of the body overpowers our viewpoint and takes away our ability to see the body purely as a body and a form. The author strives to reinvent the body and challenge this viewpoint. Pulling the overly sexual gaze away from the viewer. She wants to separate (figuratively speaking) the body parts from the body and the individuals that we know. The body parts are merely a shape or form for her to manipulate within her artwork, moving away from a consciously sensual or sexual approach toward the body. She uses skin tones, limbs, shapes, contours, and imperfections as a foundation to challenge a viewer’s perspective of the body. Within her work, she doesn’t make a distinction between gender, ethnicity, age, and so on. Everyone is brought together in one ‘Body of Bodies’. We see the body in its purest form, nude and with all its imperfections. Shown as it is but out of its context. As a spectator, we tend to look for recognition. We always want to understand what we are looking at. For example, if skin color is spotted in a work we want to know which part of the body we are presented with. This is something she tries to incorporate into her art. This constant need to search for recognition. She makes the familiar unrecognizable. This way she creates pareidolia. What you think you see or recognize is not actually there. We seek recognition quickly and look for familiarity, born from our primal instincts that make us able to see quickly if someone is friend or foe, smiling or looking to attack. That urge and instinct to read a situation quickly leads the spectator or rather misleads the spectator.