Illusory Projections

Sweden-born Gabriel Isak (b. 1990) uses photography as a metaphor for experiences transcendent of the body. Spun from a web of physiological states and dream-like projections, anonymous figures stand, solitary, within their own illusions. Often central in the frame, Isak’s subjects are faceless, which further perpetuates the idea that they are held within an ethereal plane of self-discovery. In the featured series, The Blue Journey and The Red Line, pastel palettes of mist-covered skies and boundless oceans are disturbed by bold, standardised silhouettes. The dormant bodies create a sense of melancholy serenity, matched by scenery that is fixed, purgatorial. Wind-swept hair, paper planes, birds in flight and floating balloons act as an unsettling precedent for figurative journeys: the animation, it would seem, is projected outwards by the thoughts, fears and hopes of the individual, left unresolved and trapped within their sedentary vignettes.