"You are quite a character" is something someone would say to you if they thought you were unique, different. It is also something that we can hear quite often, and never truly question. The reality is that the definition of a character may have many meanings and may present several challenges. And so does the idea of being "different", because it leads to questions of sameness and difference. What is "unique"? The intersection of stories, construction of feelings and development of thoughts are things that could be analysed related to these questions. But perhaps we could start by looking at these in the visual world as a sequence of scenes from a film. In a film, it is possible to watch the most varied and different stories, the realistic and unrealistic succession of events, histories repeating themselves. In the same manner, we can observe humans, in real life. They may become characters of their own stories - or the stories of others.
If life were a film, are we nothing but mere characters within?
When questioning life it is normal for an individual to question whether or not their contribution and role in society has a meaning, a point to it. It is normal to question hierarchy, social distribution of roles, jobs, or even how we perform these activities. But we exist within the bigger picture, perhaps as characters, but especially as individuals, and sometimes we do not even realise or think about our simple existence. Having the exact same capacity of existing, the photographer positions themselves as an outsider, and the lens as the outsider's eyes in the big circle of life. The photographer observes the self, but also the surroundings. They can capture the smallest details and the most unnoticed ones too: they become part of the film, as well as help portraying it.
Claret castell
© Claret castell
Claret Castell's (@claretcastell) work focuses mainly on portraits. And she does precisely the work of an outsider, observing and capturing her surroundings as part of a film. Her film exists in her ideal world. Yet, she tries to capture "the most authentic and spontaneous part of people". In her 2017's project "People", she aimed to develop a fashion editorial that fought stereotypes, broke the rules of fashion design; she created a project where people's authenticity prevailed. This project captures a raw side of life, unnoticed perhaps, where people are still characters, but in a pure, non-altered way. It shows passion, emotion, innocence and rebelliousness, a mixture of characteristics that are not often shown in such a lighthearted way.
The people in Claret's photography show the existence of different lives, portray different emotions and reflect upon the stories each individual owns. Her photographs tell stories. And these stories exist within a constructed reality that is life. It is almost as if by existing in our everyday lives, we find ourselves looking at our surroundings in this same way: recognising our individuality and how close to fiction our existence actually is. Rather than being inspired by films, films can be inspired by us too. The line that divides fiction and reality has been crossed too many times for it to be strict. It is possible then - and maybe even useful- to start observing the details that separate us and unite us as people. We may all be all characters in the end, connected, unique, yet different.
claret castell
© claret castell