n°8/ Powder Cosmetic

February 2012

by Nathalie Azoulai


A dry pigment; a substance that camouflages and absorbs; it makes the body matte, idealizing it as a place without secretions of any kind. Powder can also colour and, when it comes out of cannons, kill.
It’s less sure what it’s doing in young British photographer Kate Bellm’s work though it’s entitled A War of Colour, where the powder could be chalk. It’s somewhere between the playground and a crime scene, between spray painting and a colouring book. Who knows? But the fact that the shot was taken in Berlin – a place where memories of war are never far away – might go someway to explaining things. Then, look at the blue substance over the cross-shaped body: is a tulle cloud or turquoise dust? A protective bubble or a sign of destruction? For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return…

Kate Bellm