Khaled Youssef, Syrian photographer and poet.
In his work as a photographer, Khaled Youssef does not seek complexity, but rather impalpable beauty and poetry. With his photographic theme ‘Bubbles’, he has found a unique way to express his poetical vision : Alike a daydreamer, he invents poetic ballads of lightness and transparency through the streets of the city and on the paths of the world.
The photographic adventure is a path of initiation lined with seeking the Self and encountering the Other, and with the sharing of a vision of the world. It is a voyage, a rupture, a sensitive openness to the world, a passageway to the outside, the encounter of otherness, a dialogue and a sharing. Perceiving the message communicated in a photographic work, one comes back altered, different, or even transformed. Indeed, this creative trajectory leading up to this “nomadic work of art” that consists of the images gathered by the photographer during this journey, as well as the encounter with the Other, not only transform the photographer himself, but also the viewer.
There is something irresistibly magical and mysterious in soap bubbles. This fascination led me to adopt and immortalize them in my series of photographs. Out of these large soap bubbles still floating in the air, shot from angles enhancing their myriad of colors and their transparency, a true narrative poetry comes to life, meanwhile based on a slightly different photographic approach.
A breath or a displacement of air is sufficient for them to spring, all round-shaped, in their purest form ̶ the soap bubbles. Light and undulating, they rise through the air inside the ethereal azure, hover for a moment as if suspended on an invisible thread. Iridescent bubbles, transparent bubbles, fragile elusive things, slithered from a string and sticks, they last only the time of a glance. Ephemeral bubbles, they disappear as suddenly as they had appeared … but they leave behind some tiny bubbles of light in the amazed eyes of the young… and old.
Beyond the childish game, those translucent creatures are the very image of our dreams that we dream to realize, of the good moments lived that we wished to last forever, and of our beautiful flighty ideas that we wished to recapture. Iridescent, they have the power of reminiscence, as they realign us with our childhood and its memories. Crystalline, they symbolize hope and joy. While flying, they wear the seven colors of the rainbow, and burst out at a patch of blue sky to allow us to escape beyond the boundaries of our imagination. It is for all these reasons that I create them, observe them, shoot and capture them with my camera.
In this vast world, on continent after continent, in country after country, city after city, these translucent spheres are travelling alongside with me, while drawing the silhouettes of people, highlighting the details of a face or a smile, reflecting a place or monument, or while remaining suspended in unknown skies, such as an exhortation to escape to some nomadic regions.
Each bubble is itself a realm of dreams inside an oneiric world. A journey through the lens of a bubble is an invitation to lightness, to the pleasures of travel and discovery, and a call to come out of one’s own bubble to finally dreaming the dream of life.
Text by Khaled Youssef
Editing & translation by Danii Kessjan