Torben Eskerod’s portraits, Cassadega, of clairvoyants he has visited in the USA are about seeing, in contrast to being blind to. These very telling portraits speak of an inner life within the person and about the human potential for contact with the world which is not visible except through belief. The paradox is that the now-gaze of the photograph freezes these highly spiritually aware people in a timeless space where both body and soul are present, while the eye, the mirror of the soul, is closed. Photography and paranormal phenomena are old acquaintances, even ones that can almost be said to be in competition. The photographic camera, as the sophisticated apparutus which delineates clearly and sharply, does the seen full justice, but the precision goes too far and becomes the photographer’s opponent, and the clinical-typological penetrates far into the soul of the observer. The technique chosen in Cassadega illustrates the function of the gaze and the way the photograph can be fraught with the concept of time displacement. The story is about mankind’s fear and hope, the wish to be led and to lead up the garden path; but most of all these photographic portraits are about the wish to reach out beyond our earthly existence. It is as if the photograph can prove this belief: that the visible has come from what is not seen, and not the opposite.
- Tove Thage