My Other Side is a personal project by Camille Renée Devid in which she approaches her fears of lost beauty, pain and physical weakness through the eye of her camera. In black and white photographs, she shifts between the exposition of her body, the world around her and the merging of the two. We see variations of body parts, close-ups of her armpit, breasts and backside, as well as fragments of nature. In a visual exploration of surfaces, Devid expresses her alienated relationship with herself.
By photographing only fragments of herself, sometimes her whole upper or lower body, sometimes just a detail of her face, Devid remains somewhat anonymous, an elusive figure known in part but never as a whole. The images appear as subjects of nature, form and texture next to being a matter of self-portraiture. Attempting to judge her physical appearance in a common way is therefore impossible. Her body becomes a more abstract presentation of herself, each part being its own subject to be looked at. It is sometimes even hard to recognise what the subject of the photograph is to start with. One image shows a seemingly unrecognisable blur of black lines and grey shades; only through a close look is the body of a woman revealed. Through her obscure imagery Devid alienates herself from her physical appearance as if she would like to avoid to recognise herself in oder to find acceptance - the kind of acceptance that she would find, looking at the body of a strange women - or the nature she is integrating in her images.
My Other Side is an intuitive, almost instinctual representation of Devid struggling with a perception of her own body. However, the images and the book as a whole steer clear of being a study of the notion of a sad woman clinging to her lost beauty and strength. It rather collects a series of images that together tell the intense story of a woman trying to rediscover herself.
My Other Side is available from Schilt Publishing.