Visions of daily chaos by Thomas Vanoost

Is this world static or dynamic? Chaotic or orderly? Or is it just a matter of perception, of how we feel?

This series has its roots in ontology, the study of the nature of being, and in phenomenology, the branch of philosophy that studies the structure of perception.

The central concept at its heart is based on the philosophical idea that all reality around us is utterly chaotic and unstable. This vision of the world as an ever-changing place is not exactly new. Heraclitus of Ephesus already stated this very idea in the 5th century BC (“panta rhei”, which means “everything flows”), and it remains more actual than ever today. For better or worse, we live in a world that is evolving at a very rapid pace, and we can all feel it.

“My work is an attempt to question our relationship to reality by visually expressing these concepts of chaos, stress and instability, and to challenge our way of seeing the world as a stable place. By superimposing several exposures, I try to convey that “panta rhei” feeling that the world is an ever-changing place where nothing can be taken for granted. This technique allows me to play with space and time (as all photos visible in the final image are slightly shifted in both space and time) and to create a feeling of everything being unstable and uncertain.”

Born in 1982, Thomas Vanoost is an emerging Belgian photographer living and working in Brussels. In 2002, he graduated in photography from a local fine art school, while also studying philosophy and sociology. Between 2002 and 2016, he never stopped working on personal photography projects and pursued a career in the investment industry at the same time. In 2016, he decided to devote himself to photography after he became painfully conscious of the chaotic world we live in. The results are this series ‘visions of daily chaos’, which questions our relationship to reality.

“My work is an attempt to question our relationship to reality by visually expressing these concepts of chaos, stress and instability, and to challenge our way of seeing the world as a stable place.”
Is this world static or dynamic? Chaotic or orderly? Or is it just a matter of perception, of how we feel?

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Michael Nguyen

Editor-in-chief TAGREE