The world is such a social machine. It seems that the norm revolves around people, our interactions and relationships. There is, however, a more intimate relationship, and it’s the one you have with yourself. There comes a time for introspection, gazing down into your own soul. Where is the time for that? Even solitude brings responsibilities, it seems. Being alone is a time to figure out what will happen next in our day to day life. It’s a rare look into the inner struggle of man.
Gabriel Isak, Swedish-born photographer, portrays a rather abandoned viewpoint. It is a perspective which has become lost in the scramble of our extrovert flavored existence.
Isak’s concept uses simple photography to speak of life’s complications of self, bringing the viewer closer to the beauty of solitude.
“I want to use photography as a metaphor for experiences of the soul by creating photographs that are simple in form, but rich in ideas and emotion.”
Unfortunately, social media has emptied us of the colorful ideas found in solitude. Posts, likes and shares bring every internal aspect to societies open arena. There are no secrets, the unveiling of your deepest thoughts become commonplace. If you choose to keep your thoughts protected, society assumes something is wrong with you. Solitude is rare and beautiful, and this is what Isak’s strives to convey.
“My imagery entails surreal and melancholic scenes inspired by the inner world of dreams and psychology, where I invite the viewer to interact with the internal world of solitary figures that symbolize our own unconscious states.”
The Shadow and the Self
Some believe there are two parts of the self: light and shadow, while some are oblivious to the fact. In his work, Isak introduces one to the other. Then, after acceptance, the two become one. Mind you, they still retain separate characteristics. It’s like a coin, continually turning when tossed into the air. The inspiration for the collection “The Shadow and the Self” was drawn from the work of Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist.
“Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides,” says Jung.
The magic of Dreaming
Another interesting aspect of Isak’s work is his portrayal of soul searching and dream interpretation. An obvious correlation between solitude in dreams creates a stunning visual effect. It was only a matter of time before Isak wandered into the world of self and the dream.
Isak brings to life the symbolism a strange moment in time, just before you wake from dreaming. The transition, from dreaming to real life has to be difficult for the mind. Isak’s simple representation of that momentary journey is seen through filmy silhouettes draped upon solitary figures and lost balloons. The dream is a personal experience rarely captured in its entirety.
In the collection “The Blue Journey”, Isak conveys the chaos of our minds when trying to remember our dreams. The harder we try, the faster our dreams seem to slip away. We grasp but yet we are just short of the prize. Sometimes, when we capture the dream, words are inadequate for the dreamer. What we can articulate may seem odd or absurd to the listener.
In a fast-paced world, it is nice to get back to the origin of human experiences – the simplistic interpretation of self in a nutshell. In his artistic awakening, you can again evaluate your solitary mind and delve into the extraordinary dream world. You will find that isolation is more than being alone, it’s filled with stimulating knowledge and energy of one human being.
While Isak’s works are varied, they all represent one important idea.
“The objective of my work is to reflect human experiences that will allow the spectator to reflect on their own journey.”
Image credit: Gabriel Isak