The “non-portraits” project combines non-narrative experimental photoseries where the human figure is represented without using the face as the main vector of expressivity. These collaborations with actors or dancers often get their inspiration from performing arts. Therefore, “non-portrait” doesn’t mean that the human figure disappears: what interests me here is rather its interaction with an environment. There is no storyline, and no symbolism as in conventional dance.
The non-conventional body postures that don’t seem to reproduce any specific social situation challenges the viewer. “What is happening here?” is the question one might ask. This freedom of interpretation is a key element in this work. Nothing is “right” or “wrong”. It is more important to feel than to understand – and to have fun doing so.
Non-portraits are an ongoing project that has started in mid-2011. Its boundaries will evolve overtime, with some similarities. For instance, the environment has a strong presence in some of the photos. The neutral costume is also important as the images shouldn’t look like performances but rather carry a vernacular and mundane atmosphere– with a twist.
As an attempt to break the rules and go beyond what I’ve done in the past, these non-portraits might be more challenging for the viewers and less “easy” than my former regular portraits.
All photos ©2011 Jean-Sébastien Monzani - All rights reserved