Relaxing Chamber is a continuously developing series of photographs that revolves around one common theme: the idea of consciousness in humans and animals. The images are motifs of human faces and animal forms, often not immediately recognizable.
There are claws and tentacles, thrusting out, stiffened, at rest. And there are people, surrounded by a black void, some seemingly asleep, some in an ecstatic trance, others in contemplation. The project circles around the human psyche and concerns the archetypal symbolism of animals in collective unconscious memory, altered states of consciousness in trance and hypnosis, and related phenomena such as feelings of euphoria, isolation and dissociation in everyday life.
“Relaxing Chamber” (entomological term) is a container which has a very high humidity. When insects are dead long before pinning, rigor mortis develops, often resulting in body distortion. In such cases, a “relaxing chamber” is used to make them flexible.
All images ©Aleksei Kazantsev