In French photographer Olivier Ramonteu’s creepy but absorbing collection called Alter Ego, he depicts ghostly images of twins. One however, would wonder, upon examination of the images, if they are indeed real twins or just digitally manufactured doubles? These days you can never be sure about what you see.
Well, Ramonteu builds on that doubt, allowing it to linger, and is really anyone’s guess. He deliberately wants viewers to question what they see; especially since some are actually genuine identical twins while others are just digital manipulations.
Alter Ego was created using a combination of new as well as traditional photo techniques. Ramonteu shot the pairs both digitally and with film. He created the hazy, wraithlike effect by merging multiple exposures in addition to replications, combining all into a single image. What this yields is multiple opaque layers made up of many photographs that seem to have an innate energy.
Fog, grass and trees flow into the two central figures, making them merge with the gorgeous landscape. “Since many years, I have been interested to work on the theme of the double. In this series, photographs of identical twins, duplication, multi-exposure, film and digital crossovers techniques, games symmetries and asymmetries are in turn explored until the confusion of the senses,” said Ramonteu.
Examining the images, it’s probably not too far-fetched that the Lyon-based French photographer found ideas from dark, psychological perspectives. Ramonteu has a graduate degree in modern literature and communication, and he has long been fascinated with the concept of the literary doppelganger.
Wanting to create a visual representation of his ideas, Alter Ego is a result of that intellectual journey. “The main idea of the project was to make people doubt what they see,” he said. “I clearly decided to not reveal if the people you see are twins. I can only say that for this project I did a lot of experimentations with and without twins.”
His growing body of work can be viewed here.