Fractured Souls: Capturing the Ethereal

fine art photography

All true art is an expression of the soul. The outward forms have value only in so far as they are expression of the inward spirit of man.
-- Mahatma Gandhi

What is the soul?

Can the soul be separated from a physical body?

Can we have more than one soul?

Can we see it?

These are all difficult questions to answer. They have perplexed philosophers, theologians, and thinkers throughout history. The soul is often described as the core of one's being, representing the unique and eternal essence of an individual. It is the repository of consciousness, emotions, and the intangible qualities that make each person distinct. Aristotle did not believe the soul could exist separate from a physical body, while Socrates and Plato considered the soul to be incorporeal and eternal. Medical professionals and scientists, on the other hand, do not accept the concept of a soul as an entity. They only recognize individuals' identities and behaviors caused by physical processes taking place in the human brain.

In one of BBC's 2015 top stories, David Robson argues that our body and mind are not our own. In fact, we are a "fusion of many organisms - including, potentially, another person." In Psychology, this condition of multiple identities attempting to take control of an individual is defined as Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder. The name changed after 1994 to reflect progress in understanding the condition which is "characterized by identity fragmentation rather than the growth of separate personalities."  Long exposure photography, with its ability to capture multiple instances of movement within a single frame, mirrors this complexity.



Unfortunately, it is not possible to see people's souls either as incorporeal entities or fragmented personalities, at least with the technology we have today. 

It is in this context that the Fractured Souls series was born. While delving into the world of long exposures, taking photos of dancers in rehearsal, I inadvertently tapped into the metaphysical exploration of the soul. While the soul remains elusive and intangible, the blurred and ghostly figures produced by extended shutter speeds offer a visual representation of the soul's potential escape from the confines of the physical body. This series offers viewers the opportunity to perceive the unseen.




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