SPOTLIGHT: Chrystel Lebas

Chrystel Lebas > L’espace temps > Time in space

Here is some recent work from a photographer I met last year.  She is very kind.

Her previous works have been, as one critic put it, haunted with her fascination of dusk, night, darkness, and the unseen corners of our world.  Time in space is no stranger to these thoughts.

“Each series offers various types of travel to the viewer.  Travel through space in search of a specific location; travel of the mind through sleep; time-travel involving a set period from point A to point B: from nightfall to daybreak, or from the start of a journey to the final destination.”

“I began to look at sleep.  The image of a sleeping person raises the question:  Is it an image of sleep or death, of the process of dreaming or dying?  This body of work was inspired by the scientific experiments of Dr Hippolyte Baraduc in the mid 19th century.  Dr Baraduc started photographing a sleeping priest in order to complete his research on Auras.  Baraduc took photographs whilst the priest was sleeping, in the dark, placing the camera above the priest’s head.  The result was a complex ‘thick black cloud’. a ghost of the night, which he then interpreted according to his criteria as ‘the Aura of a nightmare’”.

-Chrystel Lebas

These four images are part of a series that covers thirty nights.  It is a sleep diary.  The camera is placed next to her bed and the shutter is left open all night.  Aura or not, the intimacy of these images impressed upon me our vulnerability when we sleep.

We are vulnerable to death.