15 January – 28 March 2014
Private View 2 – 4pm on Saturday 25 January 2014
“I, the Photograph” is the result of Roeland Verhallen’s pursuit of the ‘true’ portrait of someone: if we assume the average portrait is a mask, how can we capture a glimpse of someone’s true self? He employed an experimental setup: the subject was seated between two loudspeakers to listen to five songs he or she had chosen, while Verhallen largely obscured the camera, studio equipment, and himself from the subjects’ view. The music acted as a conduit for evoking certain emotions and memories – it helped to break down self-awareness, stripping down subjects’ social defences, in order to get closer to their ‘true’ portrait. The resulting photographs explore the conjuring power of music, and the transfer between two senses: can Sight capture what Sound arouses? The project is not solely photographic; it also proved to be a form of ‘visual therapy’ for both photographer and photographed: subjects often opened up completely, revealing elements of themselves previously unanticipated.
Roeland Verhallen (b.1989) is an autodidact photographer from the Netherlands. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Cambridge where he researches human visual perception in the department of Experimental Psychology. By combining his photography with his academic research, he creates photographs that question the fundamental rules of observation. Intrigued by themes such as time, transience and ancestry, his meticulously planned photographic series are multivalent and rich in symbolism.