OPEN TO INTERPRETATION is a series of still lifes composed in his studio by Benoit Malphettes
OPEN TO INTERPRETATION
Going past seventy, the non-essentials gently fell away and inspired me to return to the intimate world of still life in my studio. After a long career in fashion and editorial photography, this circular homecoming was inevitable as I became more comfortable with expressing the uncertainties of life.
I use a technical view camera, the digital-age version of the large format, which allows me to enjoy the skills accumulated during my years of work. This equipment also forces me to slow down in a deliberate process of thoughts as I am constructing a still life in my head and in front of my lens. Such a fluid approach is both liberating and stimulating while it gives space to my creativity.
I compose and photograph as a spectator of my unconscious rather than let the vigilance of reason take over.
To this end, I no longer look at these objects for what they are but, instead, I follow them in the world they invite me into. I then deliberately free them from their static existence by combining them with unexpected company, placing them in provocative or threatening positions, until new emotions emerge — fear, anxiety, distress, solitude - all emotions that accompany us in our journey. This approach turns forgotten memories into beauty or decay as in the imageries reminiscent of the traditional XVII century French still lifes.
This series at times may seem visually disjointed because I use a traditional photographic discipline instead of digital textures and post processing to keep the cohesiveness of my thoughts and a strong visual impact. Emotions are not logical, they are not digital.
Sometimes, I try to explain to myself the strange and disparate concoctions suggested by my imagination but mostly, I am left with more questions than answers.
Hopefully you will discover explicit or diffuse associations that may or may not have anything to do with my personal views, but the symbols are all there for the audience's choosing, from tempus fugit to the inevitability of our demise, all “Open to Interpretation.”