I first saw Alma Haser’s portrait series Cosmic Surgery a couple of months back and then in person at the Scope Art Fair. There’s something disconcerting at first glance but these origami/kaleidoscopic faces are definitely surprising and hard to ignore. There’s sort of a double-take effect. London-based Haser had been working on self-portraiture, being a model at the ready, but more recently she has started taking portraits of others. She tries to find ways to combine working with her hands with her photography and origami, one such way, has clearly become an integral part of these images.
The series has three distinct stages. Firstly Alma photographs her sitter, then prints multiple images of the subjects face and folds them into a complicated origami modular construction, which then gets placed back onto the original face of the portrait. Finally the whole thing is re-photographed.
Haser likes the alien and futuristic transformation caused by the origami faces. By simply folding an image she makes the portraits her own creations.