The images are motifs of human faces and animal forms, often not immediately recognisable. There are claws and tentacles, thrusting out, stiffened, at rest. And there are people, surrounded by a black void, some seemingly asleep, some in an ecstatic trance, others in contemplation. The project circles around the human psyche and concerns the archetypal symbolism of animals in collective unconscious memory, altered states of consciousness in trance and hypnosis, and related phenomena such as feelings of euphoria, isolation and dissociation in everyday life.
Aleksei Kazantsev (Slutsk, Belarus, 1975) is a visual artist working in the medium of photography. Lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. He studied photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. His work intuitively and narratively stems from the visual heritage of archetypal images, as well as our collective unconscious memory, symbolism, hypnotic states, trance, liminal states of mind. The artist looks for a twist in reality. Using altered perspectives and distorted vision, he moves you to feel disorientation and to recognize the uncanny.
A text by Dr. Christian Tudorache (Leiden University) offers an insight into the current discourse regarding the consciousness in animals and traces the evolution of philosophical ideas, dating back to Aristotle, and scientific findings related to the topic.
dienacht Publishing is an independent photobook publisher based in Leipzig (Germany) whose aim is to showcase carefully selected photographers through a limited circulation of beautifully produced books.