Brazilian photographer, Lais Pontes, “became a photographer to understand herself better”. Our journeys as photographers really do help us understand ourselves, our influences, and our intentions. Photography helps us understand why we are drawn again and again to certain subjects and allows us to explore new terrain and process it in a meaningful way.
After working in her family’s business at age 17, Lais decided to persue photography full time at Universidade de Fortaleza. In 2010, she moved to NYC to study at the International Center of Photography, and is now beginning her applications for an MFA program. “I use performance and photography to search for my own voice and create a work full of freshness and sensitivity. How I feel, all the confusion in my mind and how I relate to the world are my inspiration at the moment.”
Lais explores perception and judgement in her new series, Born Nowhere.
Born Nowhere: Does the perception of the world around us change as we look at an alternative image of ourselves? Does the world see us in a different way when presented with this different image?
According to some theories of Personality (Carl Rogers, Skinner, Maslow), each individual is the result of the interplay of 3 factors: what the person is, what he or she wants to be and what others believe this person is. This project seeks to understand how a change of a person’s facial features, expression or physiognomy, can affect the observer’s interpretation of what is being observed.
By using digital techniques, the photographer transforms facial characteristics giving herself a new personality. With no further information provided, the images are posted on Facebook and viewers are asked to provide their interpretation thereby creating a unique persona with its own name and characteristics. The description of this new person/persona is influenced by what psychoanalysts call “projection”, that is, the viewer’s background, reality and fantasies.
What one sees is what one wants to see.