Photographer Questions His Identity With Images Of Shadow Wearing His Shoes
There’s a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale called The Shadow where a man’s shadow comes to life, turns into a human, demands his former master now becomes his shadow, and when the man refuses, the shadow has him executed. Nice. As sinister and bleak a story as that is, it shows the fascination we have with the fantastical idea of our shadows taking on a life of their own.
Photographer Pol Úbeda Hervàs from Barcelona has created a series of photos called I’m Not There which feature just his shadow with various pairs of shoes sat at its feet. Hervàs presents them with a hint of mystery and a sense of the uncanny (like Andersen’s story) as an empty pair of flip-flops or sneakers inexplicably beget this human shadow. The effect was achieved with some post-production tinkering in Photoshop.
From the comment Hervàs left with the images on Flickr, it seems these photos come at a time in his life when a bit of soul searching is going on. “My shadow is there but I erase myself because I don´t know who I am any longer,” he says. A bit like Andersen’s protagonist then—with both the story and this series sharing the same idea of a loss of identity.