• SCIENCE, PHOTOGRAPHY AND EGO DEFLATION


UNNATURAL WAYS TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF 2009 

STEPHANE GRAFF

Silver gelatin print. 

This week I had the most wonderful couple of hours meeting Stephane in his London studio. He introduced me to ' Professore' his surreal and hilarious alter ego who tackles some of psychiatry's greatest topics with a  range of photographic techniques, the use of antique scientific looking gadgets  and one of the best sense of humours I have encountered as the curator of The Art of Science. I have been truly entertained and amused by this exploration of my profession as perceived by an outsider with a vivid imagination.  

I love every one of the images below and many more exist all part of the same series from 2009, I am delighted to be able to share them with you.  When I asked him what his initial inspiration had been, he mentioned a day in Istambul, a snowy street and a group of doctors all dressed in white lab coats walking silently towards their hospital. He looked at them as they disappeared into a doorway and for a moment tried to imagine life as one of those doctors. Soon after 'Professore' was born and the project began, much of it photographed in Turkey in the old hospital where the original idea took place. 


RAPID EGO DEFLATION EXPERIMENT 2009

Silver gelatin print 



THE MORAL ANIMAL 2008 

Silver gelatin print from glass plate negative 



THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE IS A SERIES OF PROBABILITIES 2008

Silver gelating print 2008 



ONE HUNDRED BALL EXPERIMENT 2008

Silver gelatin 

The following excerpt is from Stephane's website  (www.professore.co.uk)   is Professore ?


'I created Professore as an alter ego, a second self, a kind of auto-collaboration for my art. I am interested to see how Professore challenges perceptions of identity and social order, whilst raising issues regarding society’s innate trust in science and institutions. 

Professore is an enigma. He projects the qualities of a highly educated and respected scientist, yet his complex and bizarre experiments isolate him and ultimately leave him misunderstood. This larger than life character appears to dramatically oscillate between the extremes of experience and uncertainty, control and failure, or genius and insanity. 

Professore is a unique character who blurs the distinctions between fiction and fact. He takes on a profound existence of his own where fantasy and reality become virtually inseparable. His unconventional science can range from the fantastic to the banal, but it is always treated with equal reverence and ironically comes across as plausible.

This work is also concerned with the duality of personality. The question arises whether Professore is simply a game of role play, or if the practice of taking on another identity implies deeper psychological issues. Which is the true personality that is emanating- that of the artist or Professore? And can one exist without the other?