Aleksei Kazantsev: Relaxing Chamber

It’s this human nature or behaviour in animals, like that of monkeys when they pet their cubs, and it’s this beastly nature of some humans that we learn from the news or also happen to witness that bewilders us most. It's this intersection of the two creatures, that are, on the one hand, evolutionary, so close to each other, and on the other hand, psychologically (as we believe), are so distant, that gives us creeps. It's this gleaming effect that stands behind the project “Relaxing Chamber” by Antwerp based photographer
Aleksei Kazantsev.

About the project
"Relaxing Chamber" is a continuously developing series of photographs that revolves around one common theme: the idea of consciousness in humans and animals. The images are motifs of human faces and animal forms, often not immediately recognisable. There are claws and tentacles, trusting out, stiffened, at rest. And, there are people, surrounded by a black void, some seemingly asleep, some in an ecstatic trance, others in contemplation. The project circles around the human psyche and is involved with archetypal symbolism of animals in collective unconscious memory, hypnotic state, altered states of consciousness in trance and related phenomena such as feelings of euphoria, isolation and dissociation in everyday life.

About the photographer
Aleksei Kazantsev (Slutsk, Belarus, 1975) lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. He studied photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. His work was exhibited in various galleries across Europe: - Belgium (Pulsar, LWM18, National 55, Archiraar Gallery, Liège Photobook Festival, L'image sans nom, PAK-Gistel) - UK ( festival, The Minories Galleries) - Poland (Fundacia Villa Sokrates) and featured in magazines such as Der Greif and American Chordata among others.


A decade long visual research into the consciousness of animals is out now!

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