Alex Massek explores how lockdown affected his perception of time and how much we value routine as humans in his latest photo series.
Alex Massek is a London-based multi-hyphenate creative who explores mediums like photography, painting, and film-making. As lockdown began to ease, Massek took the opportunity to explore isolation and the surreal experience that has been lockdown into his most recent photo series, ‘Leisure’ and ‘Claret’.
This shoot was meant to explore the concept of leisure (passing time) especially in 2020. Being in all these lockdowns has personally affected my perception of time and has led me to realize how much we value routine as humans. Days seemed to drag on quite often, and this can have an interesting impact on the mind. While we continue to seek routine, it’s rather difficult to find in these times.
The models, in this sense, are performing their routines (represented through the cards, instruments, etc), but at the same time are struggling to soldier on. The breaking of the instruments is symbolic of breaking out of this negative thought as well as coming out of the lockdown itself. The overall mood is quite dark, but I wanted to include a sense of light-heartedness.
An exploration of dynamic motion in red representing the circus-like uncertainty of the current era we find ourselves in. I spent quite a lot of time looking at vintage circus photos, as well as dark fairytale illustrations. Aesthetically, I felt these captured the mood I was looking to represent in these photos. The use of double exposures and distortion are used to further highlight a general feeling of uneasiness.
Both of these photo series (Claret and Leisure) explore a similar underlying narrative. From a retrospective perspective, this past year has been absurd, challenging, and somewhat isolating, and this is what I hope to represent in these photos.