Penumbra comprises a series of color photographs taken in the Louvre during regular opening hours. The darkened surface of the pictures, artificially rendered, creates an atmosphere of intimacy with the sculptures and gives the illusion that the inanimate figures are awakening. This series pursues an investigation I started respectively in 2008 and 2010 with the series Anatomy of Desire and Slaves & Titans about the human figure, its representation and notions of identity and desire.
The title, which refers to a space of partial illumination (as in an eclipse) or something that covers, surrounds or obscures, serves as a metaphor for the dark – almost black – images, the result of closing down the aperture and voluntarily under-exposing the image to the limit of visible perception. Paradoxically, this process of concealment and erasure creates a sense of intimacy where the inanimate objects seem to come to life, their presence being revealed by their near-absence. To me, the tension between light and darkness, motion and stillness, revelation and erasure, presence and absence, is at the core of the photographic medium and the human experience itself, where life isn’t without death and vice-versa.