The trance in Guy Veloso’s photographs
Spiritual experiences are sensory phenomena far removed from our understanding. The collective unconscious is full of experiences that can be explained in different ways according to each culture’s beliefs or religious system. Initiated participation in them individually and collectively. In Guy Veloso’s photographs, we see anonymous people in moments of trance. These are photos that go beyond the simple documentation of a religious phenomenon. We perceive an effort by the photographer to approach ecstasy, through photographic language.
This approach is perceived by the lack of focus and sharpness in some photos. How to represent a trance experience? What means to adopt in order to dialogue with an immaterial phenomenon? Many artists have gone through this challenge and abstraction seems to be an interesting path to follow. Abstraction is a generous boundary between the artist’s proposal and the viewer’s aesthetic experience. It is as if the artist offered to his audience a broader space permitting different. interpretations.
Another striking point in these photographs is the gaze upwards towards the heaven of the models, in a possible search for an answer, constituting a non-verbal communication between them and the Hereafter. The expression in the eyes of people, almost shy, reflects the acceptance of a hierarchy as if the believers were in an inferior position before the great forces of the universe.
The “trance” space seems to be the meeting place between these great forces called “God”, “Forces of Nature”, “Orixás”, etc. with the laypersons. There are so many possibilities for communication that spoken and sign language cannot handle. Luckily, Guy Veloso transmits through his photography, this subtle and intense experience.