© Simon Beraud - 2023 - All Rights Reserved
A journey through the mists and lights of love
’’Love is an emotion that has obsessed artists since the advent of art. Many a writer has grappled with the challenge of putting the feelings of love into words, and yet their work is never done. Love is too intangible, ethereal, personal to ever be satisfactorily recorded. Even the most eloquent of words can only ever approximate.
And yet as hard as it is to describe, it is perhaps harder to depict. How do you visually illustrate the drunken intensity of new love, or the deeply rooted trust of long-term love without resorting to expected and inadequate tropes: kisses, embraces, hearts, rings…? How do you capture something that feels both true to the photographer and their feelings, and sufficiently familiar and resonant to engage a broader audience?
It’s a challenge Simon tackles with spirit and imperfect success in his series G: the ambiguity of its title fitting for the formlessness of its subject matter. A photographer who in his own words “photographs to understand what he feels”, there is a feeling of impulsiveness and spontaneity in both his series statement and in the resulting images – a visual diary made in real-time and without planning, over-analysis or re-drafting, propelled forward by feeling, by pulsing heartbeats and tingling skin.
Images of his lover’s body, close-up and shrouded in shadow are juxtaposed with images of their empty shared environment of bedsheets, hillsides, beaches. It’s as if to emphasize both the intensity of proximity and the yearning of distance – the ecstasy of being together and the ache of not. Shot in low light with flash, there is an arresting chiaroscuro, as if to tell us that for everything he sheds light on, there is more that remains a mystery.
The archetypal image of the series is perhaps the one showing his partner in silhouette on a rocky coastal outcrop. Combining his two visual motifs – the body and the environment – she stands like a siren; alluring and dangerous, beautiful but unknowable. Like the rest of the series it is raw, striking and charged with feeling. And perhaps those are as perfect descriptors for the throes of love as we can hope to find.’’
Ralph Wilson, Life Framer
Love begins with an encounter… A visual encounter first: imagined, imaginable – fantasized, fantasizable by one self through another…
Love allows one to overcome the self: it’s a projection into life, an attempt to live, to exist – something that is only possible with the other. Then, this projection forms: the indefinite moments of first kisses, first nude bodies laying side by side together defining themselves little by little, and then undefining themselves again.
As much as love remains a mystery, it’s an evolution: one’s life is influenced by the other person’s life – so on and so forth…
Then, images appear – instants, memories…