Rite is a photobook about Michael Søndergaard’s (b. 1988, Denmark) own exploration of sexual identity. With his focus on mysterious semi-nude portraits that resemble paintings of Baroque masters like Rembrandt or Caravaggio, Søndergaard captures the power of vulnerability and shows the process of continually discovering and accepting oneself.
The performative, dynamic, artistically blurry black-and-white and colour photographs created in chiaroscuro - the technique of harsh shadows and bright light - also reveal the artist's personal and academic interest in religious studies. Due to the use of elements such as feathers, birds, special fabric or face marks, some of the portraits are brimming with symbolism and spirituality, with which Søndergaard has created his own unique photographic style.
Rite contains a foreword by Ian McKellen.