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Karine Laval–Altered States

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I like to challenge the familiar perception we have of the world, and I often see my images as a bridge between the world we live in and a more surreal and imaginary dimension. In my still and moving images, genres such as narrative and performance are expanded through visual and temporal transformations of represented reality. The title references different states of transformations such as physical transformation and distortion, altered states of consciousness and perception, and mythological metamorphosis, but it also evinces the transformative power of the camera. With this new body of work, I continue to explore the vagaries of subjective perception and try to challenge the way we see by combining performance and the mechanics of photography itself (light, chemistry, optics and perspective). I also test the limits of the photographic medium by using water as a distorting lens and choosing a stark color palette – the result of an experimental chemical processing of the film – to generate images that oscillate between representation and abstraction and blur the boundary between photography and painting. This series of photographs as well as a related video installation and “soundscape” will be exhibited at the Bonni Benrubi Gallery this spring (April 18 – May 24).

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