Jola Sopek’s intimate portraits of everyday life elevate the banal into something beautiful and infinite
I Sing The Body Electric is an exploration of how photography lends itself to translating tactile sensations into conceptual thinking. From within the physical movements and textures – of ourselves, animals, objects and elements – spring our thoughts and ideas. It is the body that allows us to conceptualise and possess a sense of self. I collect images like pieces of a puzzle, from which I create my own reality. The underlying thread is always the silently buzzing electricity, the quiet before the storm, the mute vibrations of the surroundings that prompt me to think. This electricity seems to take form of tiny kernels of truth which have to be preserved in the instant.
The most important lesson I learned through photography is that conceptual thought starts within the physical look of the surroundings, and that it is inseparable from them. The act of noticing, acknowledging and photographing a certain object offers it the gift of timelessness, elevates it to a position where it can become a trigger for self-realisation and carry silent but powerful lessons. As Shunryu Suzuki had said: “When you forget all your dualistic ideas, everything becomes your teacher, and everything can be the object of worship”. I believe photography has a unique power of exposing and revealing truths about our thoughts – the selection of subjects tells a lot about our sensibilities and inclinations. In a way, it is perfectly feasible to say that our personalities exist within photographs.