Home » Photography » Phantoms

Day and night phantoms / 2009

/photograph, light-jet print, dibond, 75x75 cm/

Day and Night Phantoms are an imaginary photographic probe into the memories of my early childhood /the time when I believed that the sun was an animal, mushrooms were a meat, that strange beings were moving around in the dark or that I could fly or, better still, that sitting on the rock it would lay a gnome…/ But this list would not be complete without later inspiration I took from horror films and knowledge I gained on psychopathology as related to hallucinogenic experience.

The project as described here ventures beyond the boundaries of photography into the domain of psychology, specifically in visual terms it maps potential tendencies of infant magical thinking and perceptions of the environment depending on a given moment in the flow of time.

The photographs from the Night Phantoms series depict situations and activities, which wouldn’t be usual for the people if captured in these late hours and they do not correspond with the physical age of their protagonists either. However these limitations doesn’t count for the phantoms living in their own world that in spite of being all around us extends itself beyond the observatory capacity of everyday human beings.

The scenes on the photographs are as if frozen in time, in the moment of surprise, as if the headlights of a car catch a passing animal and what remains after the mutual surprise is just a memory – a sensation which can be doubted and replaced by an illusionary image as seen in the microsleep, or be taken for a fancy altogether.

In the Day Phantoms the question of realness is furthermore blurred by the fact that the things are not happening “directly”, but are reflected on the traffic mirrors. Even though the mirrors are real and as such they should reflect the reality entirely, the object and events, as reflected on it, hint to the reality of a dream, mirage or child’s imagination. Only in the mirrors it is possible to see the phantoms in the daylight.

What is perhaps discomforting is some kind of an existentialistic loneliness of those “phantom individuals” who busy themselves by their peculiar activity somewhat too evidently. They are completely absorbed in themselves, in their parallel reality, up to the moment when we light that reality up with torchlight and as a spectator we penetrate it with the reality of ours.

The series contains thirteen couples of “phantoms” pictured first at night and then as caught during daylight. The format of prints is 75x75 cm, they were made using a high quality technology of lambda print, adjusted on forex and clear Perspex.