Freezing the virus
Bizarre or trending subjects, catch a break with our curiosity of the week. In order to keep track of lockdown, the French photographer Sasha Mongin chose to freeze highly symbolic objects. She composes with Covid -19°C a chilling ensemble.
“At the beginning of the lockdown, I felt like a cartoon character that Covid-19 had frozen in place, equipped with a super cryogenic gun,” recalls Sasha Mongin, a photographer who specialises in staged portraits. So, unable to retreat to her freezer, in her Covid -19°C series, the artist fixed and gathered personal objects accompanying her in the normal world, or rather in the world before: “the world outside of lockdown”. Travel, sport, live performance, or even fantasy. They all symbolise freedom and hedonism. “They were suddenly dispossessed of their power”, comments the photographer, impatient to return, like all of us, to her leisure activities. And among them, rollerblading. “Roller skates evoke what I missed the most”: freedom, of course, but also adventure and movement. “Above all, I love this vintage object that reminds me of the carefree 1980s, a time my parents told me so much about,” she adds.
“Having friends in China, I had prepared myself. But I still got a slap in the face because it seemed so unbelievable. I started the lockdown with a long list of things to do, and then I had the feeling I was going into apnea,” Sasha Mongin recalls. So it is with some logic that the series is partly named after the virus. “It is at the heart of my subject. After all, it’s the one that froze us on the spot”. The addition of a negative? A direct translation of the feelings of the young woman who made this series during her first quarantine. At a time when she was hoping not to experience a second wave… Initially paralysed by the sanitary crisis and its consequences, the artist was able to capture a form of poetry in the unknown, and ignorance. Here she offers a chilling reflection on one of the terrible effects of the virus: the deprivation of our liberties.
© Sasha Mongin