« Know thyself and you’ll know the Universe and the Gods » said Socrates in the times of the Greek Antiquity. It is through this paradigm that the photographer Hélène Nugnes invites us to an inner journey and an expedition through the subconscious. The photographer’s interiority as well as the models’ are revealed through theses series.
Phantasm and reality are fusing together on every image. The process used, the large format camera, intensifies this ambivalence by reinforcing the dreams and/or the phantasmagory of these scenes. Each photograph is taken via chance encounters. The models’ life inspiring the picture. Masks’ creator, shamans, performers, parents, children tell their stories, sending back to the artist a part of herself sometimes undiscovered.
The unconscious of the models and of the photographer entangle themselves to create a photo inviting to inventiveness and dreams. Starting point of a deeper introspection in which a subtle world emerges.
Text by Thomas Roche
Sometimes, I dream that I am my mother. Sometimes, I dream that I am my daughter.
Sometimes, I dream that I am my father. Sometimes, I dream that I am my son.
Sometimes, I dream that I am myself and I’m everything and everyone at the same time.
Sometimes, I cry when I look myself in the mirror. I scream. I torn myself apart. Lacerating myself. Insulting myself. Many voices are insulting me. Many voices in me are berating me.
Sometimes, I’m hating myself without knowing why. I’m hating myself without this hatred being mine. I see myself in the mirror and I insult myself and I cry. I cry over my dead. I cry over the dead inside me. I cry over the parts of me that are dead. We are so numerous down there.
I ‘d like to have my hair in the wind and rain streaming down my face. But there’s only screams and cries…screams and bitter cries sending me back to myself.
Sometimes I laugh looking myself in the mirror. I’m taken by a jolt that make me laugh out loud. I look at myself and burst in laugh. I’m crying from laughter. My eyes wrinkle. My eyes shrink. My eyes sting. I’m shaking. I’m laughing and all my body, all my organs, all my cells laught with me. I’m nothing more than a laugh, a crazy one. I’m crazy. I laugh and I’m crazy from laughter.
Sometimes, I’m a flower. I look at myself in the mirror and I’m a flower. I’m crowning myself. I’m crowning myself alone… and the tears that run down my cheeks are pale pink.