A PLACE BENEATH THE SURFACE Altered states of consciousness & hypnosis
Three figures are suspended and cradled by a sinister device. They appear peaceful, daydreaming or perhaps sedated, with their hands resting in their laps. Their feet dangle from their legs but troublingly we cannot see how far they are suspended form the floor. The bare flesh and the flimsy materials of light summer clothes they are wearing, sits in contrast to the hard, cold, mechanic alien looking chair, adding to a feeling of vulnerability these subjects have. Their expressions are blank or absent; showing a delicate balance between sedation and ecstasy, great pleasure or immense pain. The mind has left the body, slipped somewhere beneath the surface. It is not apparent at first that they are under hypnosis. We do not read these images strictly as a fashion
story, but neither are they documentary, instead they exist poised between the two. The specific colour palette may lead you into realm of fashion and advertising yet there are anomalies present in the postproduction editing, and the muted tones of the clothes disappear too easily into the backdrop. Certain elements lead towards a narrative, but they are inconclusive. A natural, almost heavenly light falls onto their upturned faces, perhaps the daylight falling from the high window of a Dutch painting of an interior. But the blank background, clearly that of a studio, prevents this interpretation, and leads to a dead end. Any initial literal reading of these images is undermined by details that stand out of place or out of genre.
Text by Jessie Bond