As if in response to the eye’s curving lines, those secret recesses of an intimate world of uncertain outlines previously evoked in Windows to the Soul – the arc of the Earth and the infinite view of an expanding universe is viewed here from the boundary between two worlds, on the cusp between glimmering life and black nothingness.
In this project, Belgian photographer Edouard Janssens takes us on a journey that rises up above the human condition so as to better unearth its fundamental questions, soaring higher still to sport with the stars like a modern-day Icarus flirting with self-destruction. Stratos-Sphere is a work born of an ingenious, photographic, aerial expedition launched by the artist in 2011, and realised 33 kilometres above ground level, where there is not enough air to breathe.
A weather balloon filled with helium and carrying two cameras housed in a polystyrene basket buoyed aloft and carried by the force of the winds brought stunning images back from this experimental adventure. They are visions of an intermediary world, poetic or geographic, suspended between the infinitely small and an immensity freely given. These thought-provoking images reveal the fragile state of Humanity, how minimal what protects us actually is, and the humility we should adopt.
From the 4,000 shots taken during the expedition, Edouard Janssens selected 31, of which he made 9 prints each. These eloquent and unique photos give a sublime aspect to the rays of light cast by the Sun, the deep blacks and cold, intense blues.