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That they hail from Sweden and have a weird name isn't enough to explain why the photography duo Aorta is often mistaken as a directing team. Rather, it's the cinematic detail and attention to character in their images that might skew audiences toward that opinion. For example, the pair-separately known as Marco Grizelj and Kristian Kran-shot a series of images for for the City Theatre of Gothenburg. One for a play about Hitler's henchman Albert Speer finds the man sitting stiffly in a bathtub, surrounded by sterile, white tiles. It's almost uncertain whether he's at home or in an instutition, thanks to the impeccable art direction. Beyond that, "we asked him to sit very straight and focus on a distant point, to look serious and expressionless, a bit numb because the real Speer must have found himself in this situation during his final days," notes Grizelj. As director-like as Aorta's style seems, the team is fixated on perfecting the still image. "Photography, for us, has something important that film is lacking," explains Kran. "Roland Barthes describes it as the power of the 'punctum.' To learn how to control this point is at the very core of photography- to produce a 'normal' picture that contains an almost unnoticeable disturbance or 'twitch,' and make it stand out and deliver the message in a more powerful way."So far, the Bransch-repped pair has yet to work in the States but already has a portfolio full of twitch-inspiring photos, for the likes of Forsman & Bodenfors, Connexion and Saatchi & Saatchi. The emotion in Aorta's images resonates boldly, oscillating between dark and bright themes. "Our dark side revolves mostly around human loneliness and communication problems," Grizelj notes. The bright, "around people's efforts to create order and meaning in life. People in ordinary situations can look quite funny if they just stopped what they were doing and asked themselves, 'Why am I doing this?'"
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