Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am) was a principle coined by René Descartes in 1637. The proposition explains that thinking about one’s existence proves in itself that they do exist. We use our senses to perceive the reality around us and accept it as the truth for the most part. Sebastian Petrovski’s Perception is Reality series questions what we actually perceive and what is actual truth.
The Melbourne-based photographer created a set of portraits of various models. The sets show each model in drastically different lighting and environment. This can alter the viewers emotions toward a subject, wither it be good or bad. The low-key lighting causes shapes and contours to appear, revealing features that are seemingly nonexistent on the flat, dull images.
The project took roughly over a year. Each face was chosen carefully for its features and expressions. “It was important that people came at a time well suited to them,” Pertrovski explained, “…it would not have been the same had I just asked the people immediately around me.”
Pertrovski had this accompanying statement on the series:
I perceive and I assume I can distinguish between true perception and false perception. However, if I cannot prove (without doubt) whether what I perceive is real then how can I be certain if I am perceiving at all? Cogito ergo sum; or, I think, therefore I am. The first and, what I believe to be, the only item of knowledge. Perception is my reality and this is where I am forever trapped. Or am I free?
Pertrovski went on to explain that it wasn’t supposed to have any significant effect on people. Some of the models didn’t like the way there were portrayed and the series was “to be honest and far from any notion of ideals.”
To check out more from Petrovski you can check out his website at sebastianpetrovski.com
CREDITS: All photographs by Sebastian Petrovski copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.