There are many reasons why I love my Pinterest account, but the most important one is that it helps me to find images which are really really cool. And that description is perfect for a recent Pinterest find, the illusory image series ‘I’m Not There’ by Spanish photographer Pol Úbeda Hervàs. The series was published in the spring of 2012, so it’s fair to say I’m late getting on the bandwagon, but the photographs are still modern, original and relevant.
Hervàs has written of his inspiration for this image series:
“How can we accept that we are changing?
How can we accept we hardly recognize ourselves in certain situations?
I am changing at this very moment of my life.
I do not react in the same ways I used to. I am surprised. Is that me?
These pictures are the way I see myself now.
My shadow is there but I erase myself because I don´t know who I am any longer.
The shoes remain only to make sure there is something more than… a shadow.”
These words from the photographer, laden with symbolism and questions of modern identity, really capture and encapsulate the ambiguity of the images and help to set the mood with which we are asked to view them. Hervàs’ ideas about change and erasure are particularly interesting – he uses the symbol of the shadow to ensure a sort of permanence, even though a shadow is by its very nature constantly changing (although of course, the medium of photography forbids change and transformation, holding everything an image contains in stillness).
The images all feature invisible men looking at their shadows, which spring out from their shoes, in various recognisable urban locations. One gets the sense when looking at them of a sort of modern ghost, a man haunting himself – there is definitely more than a hint of the phantom in these images, which lends them a slightly eerie quality. But, more than simply being eerie, the series is original, cool and clever (a tricky combination, but one that wins every time).
Being no photography expert myself, I’m intrigued by the practical, technical aspect of these images – how were they taken, and how did Hervàs manipulate them?
Here’s a few from the series, I’d love to know what you all think about this illusory photographs. My favourite is the swimming pool shot – I’m not sure why, but it gives me chills!
You can see more of Pol Úbeda Hervàs’ work on his Flickr stream by clicking here.