This week’s Photogenie theme is titled ""Here Comes the Sun"". Through visual stories, our curators research the effects of the deteriorating ozone layer.
The ozone layer is fundamental as it absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Exposure to harmful UVB-type rains can increase the risk of skin cancer and can also cause harm to plants and marine ecosystems. It is believed by experts that 4 out of 5 cases of skin cancer could be prevented, as UV harm is easily avoidable. To make sure you can enjoy the sun safely, there are several simple precautions you can take, the World Health Organization advises people to: limit time in the midday sun; watch for the UV index; use shade wisely since some shadows do not offer complete sun protection; wear protective clothing such as a hats; and of course apply sunscreen.
Much of the harm the sun causes on our skin is imperceptible, disguised and sometimes even ignored by us. French photographer Pierre-Louis Ferrer shows the hidden side of things in his work. In Brut (or RAW), a photographic project composed of twenty photographs divided into ten diptychs, Ferrer allows the viewer to take a new look at things, namely the hidden damage on our skins that comes from sun exposure, by using infrared and ultraviolet light.
To Ferrer, this series is a way to display the raw and natural character of the human being. As Ferrer explains, “each diptych presents on one side the portrait of a human being devoid of any ornament, presenting himself to the spectator in his own singularity; and on the other side a detail of his body, a more abstract complement to his fleshy envelope. No place is given here to the alteration of reality. The photographs break the barriers of the skin to reveal the true appearance of each subject, immutable and unfalsifiable. The result is a succession of portraits where sensitivity prevails over plastic beauty, questioning the notion of real image and perceived image. Each model offers the viewer an intimate view of his own being, which he cannot even perceive by himself. This relationship of intimacy and trust takes the opposite of our society where selfies and social networks project mostly an idyllic vision of our lives.”
In an interview with i-D magazine, Ferrer stated “UV photography [is] a very interesting form of photography. It allows me to create portraits about the lives of other people — your skin is a witness of our experiences. UV photography can reveal experiences like sun exposure, smoking cigarettes, pollution. How all of these things impact our body.”
This series displays what lies underneath the idyllic tans we see on social media, which have converted into the currency of summer fun. Hopefully, by being able to perceive the concealed destruction and the raw vulnerability of our skins, we can be reminded that the visible surface is often not as significant as the unseen.
About the artist:
French Pierre-Louis Ferrer started as an amateur photographer in 2016, alongside his studies in electronics engineering and optical sensors. As Ferrer states, his work mostly focuses on “the imperceptible and the invisible, in the service of dreamlike and offbeat ambiances”. Ferrer’s work aims to confront viewers with an unusual perception of their surroundings.
Further Reading :
Let us know what you think in the comments! Our weekly themes always include three photo series by different photographers.
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Written by Rita Bolieiro