400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB
A collaboration with The Photographers’ Gallery
Tuesday 26 February – Sunday 20 April 2008
Dutch photographer Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uttenbroek have been working together since 1994 on their Exactitudes project. Inspired by the energy and diversity of street life in different cities across the world, they systematically document the dress codes of different social and cultural groups, inviting strangers off the streets to be photographed in their studio. Each ‘exactitude’ brings together a group of twelve individuals who observe the same or similar dress codes, who are portrayed in an identical frame and in the same pose. Under this bland uniformity, striking similarities between people are heightened but, despite this almost scientific, anthropological record of people’s tastes, their individuality resists and ultimately undermines stereotypes. As such, the project reflects everyone’s desire to both fit in and stand out from the crowd.
For Spring 2008, Selfridges commissioned 7 new Exactitudes that were produced during a three-week residency in London. During this time, Versluis and Uttenbroek and their casting scouts used the Ultralounge as both a studio and exhibition space. The eighty eight existing works were presented here, with the new works revealed to the public from Friday 4 April.