Alexander Laurenzo

  Transpersonal Portraits  

The technical procedure to realize the Transpersonal Portraits can be described quite easily: Faces of different people are photographed on the same negative. Several exposures are made of each face, to build up the density
of a normally exposed negative. Thus, the Transpersonal Portrait is not produced in the darkroom, overlaying various negatives, but during the process of photographing.

The result is a face that does not exist in reality. It is a visual synthesis of the group of persons photographed.
By its nature this image is blurred and evokes an oneirical atmosphere.

The people contributing to one portrait are usually connected to each other by some common denominator. This might not necessarily be an external resemblance, like with the members of a family. It could also be a connection through a shared destiny, intense work, or spiritual inclination. The link could be external as well as internal, visible as well as invisible.

To a certain extent the pictures created this way seem to defy the general definitions of what photography is or can do. For example the axiom, that photography can only show what is there in physical reality. A Transpersonal Portrait represents something that is not and will never be visible. Another definition of photography has always been, that it captures one precise moment in time. Looking at the fusion of the faces of a daughter and her mother however, it might happen, that the mother sees herself as she was many years ago, while the daughter sees herself as she will look many years from now. This sometimes leads to very strong emotional reactions from the participants.

A Transpersonal Portrait can eventually dissolve the subjective perception of time, as well as, at least in visual representation, dissolve the perception of the personal ego. The creation of a Transpersonal Portrait could be compared to an alchemistic process in which, through the distillation of physical elements, the essence of a subtle body appears.