The sensation of “weightlessness” happens when there is no force of support on your body. When your body is actually in free fall mode, traveling downward at the acceleration of gravity, you are that moment not being supported. The feeling of apparent weight emanates from the support that you feel from the ground, a chair seat, etc. Weightlessness has long fascinated man, and Berlin-based dancer Mickael Jou, explores this phenomenon.
Jou appears to be flying through the air with the utmost ease in his enchanting self-portrait photo series. One could not be blamed if Jou’s flawless poses appear to be the product of photo editing, or even wire-and-harness usage. Jou’s suspended grace, however, is the result of plain perseverance. It takes perfect timing and patience to come up with these captivating pictures.
For every single shot, Jou identifies a setting such as a busy street of Berlin or Paris, or a lively nature setting. Being self-portraits, he then sets up his tripod, jumps, and hopes for the best. He does his best to intentionally be oblivious of passers-by, deal with odd lighting challenges, not to mention the physical skill required of his poses. Jou is able to strike perfect form and posture, achieving a collection of magical images that credibly sells you the idea of weightlessness, while glorifying to the exquisiteness of dance.
Jou is a trained dancer and had developed a penchant for dancing ballet and modern dance throughout public Paris. Even in Paris, this odd activity drew the curiosity of locals and tourists who would stop to photograph Jou as he did his impromptu performances. Seeing the photos taken by tourists spurred Jou to stage the photos himself. He got a camera, studied how to operate it and released what appears to be an inborn gift for the art of photography.
See his graceful 365 project that is a work in progress here.