"Faced with absence, how can the human body engage in a process of therapeutic repair? What is the role of photography when a performative dimension plays a part in the construction of images?"
Artist: Eliot Nasrallah
Project: Les Yeux Fermés
One of our jury's favorite project, from the October 2023 opencall.
"The first photographs of the series « Les yeux fermés » presents us with a succession of scenes where different places seem to be taken over by the same feeling of loss. Except for a seated body on the floor of a room, unfold a succession of scenes from the empty rooms in an apartment plunged in darkness. Followed by several religious interiors that have also been deprived of light.
Through the process of camera obscura, the window of the living room occupies the space by distributing a multitude of light rays from the outside, hence revealing the incarnation of a presence trying to dissipate the environing darkness.
As a result of this action, a spiritual journey gets underway where several protagonists embrace various natural environments to engage physically in a quest of self-reconstruction."
"Similar to an initiation rite, at first the bodies are folded, returning to an inevitable embryonic state before coming into contact with diverse forms of life. By engaging in restrictive positions, the body is able to progressively strengthen its fragile foundations. Opposing the body to mineral masses, searching the waters, grasping plants, exploring the flora, taking the shape of rocks … A sequence of rituals and performative protocols testing the capacity of the body to rely on external energies, thus better localizing hitherto unknown internal resources.
Ultimately, this therapeutic journey ends in the heart of a volcano, still active, in which the now upright body, manages to continue the repair process through a meditative walk.
This time, the body will be guided by one of the oldest remnants of our earth whose manifest power is in slumber since two thousand years ago. An encounter caused by two bodies around the mysterious phenomenon of resilience, and the images deliberately faded question us about the difficulty of distinguishing their birth from their disappearance…"
© Eliot Nasrallah