How to Cook Humans

Back to the basics, the absence of something is as important as the something itself, even if it is a non-something. If all is light, the absence of light is darkness, and darkness comes to prove that not all is light then. The same happens with being, in which its absence is not-being or nothing. Between me, being, and any object, another being, there’s an empty space not being, a void or a nothing. An absence of being itself.

When I’m taking a photograph of someone or of an object, another being, I know subconsciously that there is no space for another being in the middle or else I would catch that other being and not the emptiness or the absence of being between me and the object to photograph. That I need to be light, or even absence of light, depending on the appearance I want to give to the other being, not to the being itself.

Then a relation between my being and another being depends on this nothingness, the absence of the being. Is it then my concept of that being the being itself or just its appearance as a result of the nothingness, me and the being itself? You as a different being will have a different perception of that same being, depending on your location towards it, on the space between you and the being, on the distance or length of nothingness in between. What is changing the perception? Our own being, the other being or the space of absence between beings? Is the being unchangeable and the perception only changeable due to the absence between beings? Or is it just our own perception of beings that can change the reading of another being no matter if object or human?

We as humans, have the ability to change our appearance, but this appearance, once created by us, being a product of our own selves, is also part of the being, so the appearance is the visible part of the being and must be according with it. However, sometimes the absence of identity can create an appearance not according or not coherent with oneself, and this way the appearance is not part of the true being but a construction with emptiness in between. Do we create a second being as appearance then? If all is energy, being light part of it, it must be exhausting to carry always a second being with ourselves. Gravity doesn’t help on that. It’s an energy that we have to create and spend to keep that not coherent being in gravity around us, as protection for example. Being so, we create a second being that we carry like a satellite of the main being with a gravity centre in our own being. And if so, we have this nothingness in between our being, the appearance and finally a second one between the appearance and the object, a third being.

If nothingness, or the absence of being, something that can change our own perception of beings, having two empty spaces in between, can change even more the perception of a third being. And thus, not only the perception, but also the appearance of the 3rd being and the final judgement that we as human beings do on every other being. Not even talking when this 3rd being has a not coherent appearance as well; that would create 3 spaces of nothing and 2 not truthful appearances.

To not loose this energy or light, one should keep the appearance truly to our own being, coherent and connected with, avoiding this way to carry the weight of the appearance. Being so, we can forget and be lighter, as we are one with our own being. We can relax also and be able to have a more real perception of the 3rd object. Usually, a coherent and truly being have more or better perception of the other being, or object.

If I want to photograph an object, I’ll photograph the way it is, not loosing energies to try to uncover the appearance because its part of the real object, nor loose energy and focus on the perception as we will not need to judge. The object is real and the appearance is as real as the object. Like we are. And this way there’s only one space on between, the emptiness or the light that will bring the real perception of the being.

In photography as in life, filters are used to create an external and not real appearance. A filter is often used to distort the truth, or to hide the real being-object giving a different perception: a being-subject.

The appearance then shouldn’t be carried as a second being. It must be part of one’s being or part of the nothingness, if not, this fake appearance can withdraw itself into a new being, which will have its own existence to be carried by one. Thus, heavier to carry: an energy spender. And as so, we as being, will possible take this appearance as part of one transforming the real being into another not real. We then become the appearance and not the being itself. A fake perception of oneself.

Being an appearance and not owning one, can distort not only the facts around us or beyond the emptiness that separates us from the other beings, but can also distort the real being, our own real perceptions included. Being an appearance changes de being and the perception of the whole, as the appearance can be just a perception transformed into a shield, a filter with not real information.

Creating and owning the appearance would straighten the relation between the 1st being and the 2nd one, having only the thin layer of emptiness in between.

Plato writes about the being and its shadow, the absence of light projected by the light itself making us the source of being and emptiness. But this Plato’s shadow can be just the appearance, accepted or not by oneself or by other beings in the cave. Or is the cave one only being, or the real being who allow us to see the real one?

If you’re in the plain desert at noon, you have the perception of yourself as being. There’s nothing else than sand and sky. And you: the being. However, before the sunset, the supreme light will create a bigger shadow of your own being on the sand. You remain the same, but the perception and appearance of yourself changed by the light. Or, at noon, when you’re with your real being alone with yourself, a vulture flies over the skies and you’re warned just by its huge shadow on the floor in front of you. A silent fly that you didn’t see. The only perception was its appearance that was projected by the sun.  And that first perception can lead you into an error, or can be an error by itself, not being the being itself but the appearance of it.

Hence why some cultures have perfected the art of playing with shadows, real and unreal, physical or metaphysical ones, like religions. They have learned how to give you wrong perceptions or wrong appearances of the real beings. To create fears and disarm your own appearances, that are strong only for you to feel comfortable with. If, or when, they don’t belong to yourself anymore, but to the second object that you couldn’t control yourself because of the wrong perceptions due to the wrong appearances you had.

We become a being-subject instead of a being-object, a combination of perceptions that will lead us into misunderstandings and fake judgments, as no longer a real being.

Unless the appearance is not part of ourselves and is not a being by itself, the appearance is just a perception that we can shape or eradicate. The appearance is not a being, it can be a projection or even a shadow, which in both cases can be shaped and turned into nothing, or part of us. Part of our being. Or if projected to a second object it will change the perception of it, our own perception. This means that the layer of appearance, which is never real, will always change the real perception: of oneself or of the being in front. Appearance only distorts.

In our contemporary society, the “civilized” one as we know it, appearance became a being itself, carried by each one f us, the real beings. But being appearance the new being, it means that the appearance became owner of the real ones: us, the creators of it. This happens also with religion, when men had – or have the needs of creating a god to protect them, after sometime, this, or these gods, become the owners of men instead. The appearance, the layers that once were created to protect, are no longer protections but beings by themselves, using their own creators in an attempt of realness, making you believe, through the appearance you’ve created that you’re owned by them, and that you should not only carry them but also follow them no matter what.

You’re now not only part of your creation, but a follower of it. A slave of your own shadows and fears. A being of appearance left in the emptiness and blurring the reality of the being itself.

And what about the beings who are nothing else then appearance? There were no such things before they allow appearance to take part of them. They were beings at certain time.

When we travel to other cultures we have different perceptions of the senses, or better saying, our senses have different perceptions on what we feel. Taking for example the smell. Not because our sense of smell has the deepest and oldest memory within us, but because it’s one of our most important memories and senses. In a distant culture a smell can makes us feel home, safe, just because our memory will connect that smell with a smell we recognized in our subconscious from the times that we were a protected baby born. We travel, and each country, each culture produces its own smells. Even if you remain at the airport, each culture has its own characteristic smell that was produced by several different smells. Right now I’m at the medina of an old village in south of Morocco. The smell can’t be more different from the streets of Paris, even if you’re at the Moroccan neighbourhood there. The sea, the desert’s air, mixed with spices, herbs, bread, people, tinted leathers, ovens burning specific wood… all these contributes to a specific smell.  On the first day your senses can warn you and try to identify as a subconscious process of safety, so you can organize your consciousness, identify and feel home. If they are all completely new for you, they will try to be classified by your consciousness of things. In this case, when alone, you’re just the real being not having appearances. This doesn’t happen when you travel with someone else from the same culture as you, once the feelings will be shared and so liquefied in the filters or layers of the mutual appearances of the beings. When you travel alone you tend to forget the appearances, leaving your own being to the real discovering of the facts and feelings.
Few days latter, your memories changed. Those first smells are now part of your bank of memories, so they are now identified, as home smells. Each time that you feel a new smell this will occur: the subconscious will read the whole archive to find the smell so you can connect.  With your own self.

Awakening Bodies #6, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Awakening Bodies #6, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Awakening Bodies #5, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Awakening Bodies #5, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Awakening Bodies #4, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Awakening Bodies #4, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Awakening Bodies #3, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Awakening Bodies #3, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Awakening Bodies #2, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Awakening Bodies #2, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

AB #7 by ©Gonzalo Bénard

AB #7 by ©Gonzalo Bénard

–  Why are people here all day talking and walking from one place to another?, I asked
– “Here we have time. If you want to go to the next door on the right, you turn on the left instead, you walk till the end of the village, you meet friends, family, people, then you go around to the opposite side, walking and talking and meeting and finally you find the next door on your right, but meanwhile you met friends with whom you talked with.
Arab culture is not to be transmitted by written words, but by oral words, words in movement that are to be taught by one to another. And here you missed the most important: when you see people talking, there’s always someone else listening and learning. About values, religion, tradition, family, and friendship: our culture. We can be a talking people, but we are better listeners. We believe that everyone can teach us something new and important. So we listen. To share.”

text and photographs by ©Gonzalo Bénard for 2HeadS
June, 2013

Note: this series of unique 6 P/A (proofs of Artist) Awakening Bodies were released and are now located in Paris studio for sale. Each photograph has 50cmx50cm (19.7×19.7 inches), signed and were printed o/ Baryta Harman/Hahnemühle paper 350grs for art collectors. Contact GBénard for rates and shipping.

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