Photos of the INTERSTICES series carry several themes: the lack of certainty in our everyday perception of the world and a reconsideration of our social interactions. It is difficult to define the kind of mystery that emerges from them (in a sense close to Magritte’s) which may find its source in both the form of the image and its background.
On the form, several approaches are blended: the location, first of all, real but dramatized through the lighting of the scene. Then, the relationship between body and its environment: a formal view on the body, without symbolism or naturalism. This body is directly confronted to reality (within mundane settings), and invites the viewers to reflect on their own relationship with themselves. In short, I'm focusing on a body that is neither purely “functional” nor required to behave in a social environment.
Finally, the interaction between characters of these photographs suggests, without being specific, relationships and links. The functions and roles of the models are also unclear and their somehow neutral clothes can’t help us much. A narrative storyline seems to emerge but its interpretation is left to the viewer. It lives somehow “out of the picture” and stimulates imagination.
Memories provide in some cases the base of these photographs. They are often combined with a process of exploration of the unconscious. I can equally get inspired by personal elements or by memories of anonymous people who are then be reinterpreted non-literally by actors and dancers.
Ultimately, this approach of mystery exposes different feelings: anxiety, irony, the emergence of the uncanny (Unheimlich) ... This is a visual evocation of the same feelings as carried by novels of the "magic realism" literature. Reconsidering the body in a social environment is present in the performance arts (dance, theater) from which we sometimes borrow methods during the creation process.
INTERSTICES ultimately revolves around two complementary notions: a mystery inherent in the image and its corollary, the freedom of interpretation of the viewer that photography questions directly.
All photos ©2012 Jean-Sébastien Monzani
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