While his field of study was journalism, Ben Zank found a more direct means of expression in photography, after he discovered a Pentax ME Super in his grandmother’s attic. Submitting himself to the rigorous exercise of “one shot per day”, his images often conveniently stage himself as the main character. Using simple props such as yellow tape, Zank manages to bend reality to suit his own vision.
Guided by his subconsciousness, Zank explores his own emotional experiences. While the straight line seems to be a recurring element of his compositions, it is paradoxically used as a way to blur one’s perception of gravity; it can even appear as an overwhelming psychological Ariadne’s thread, literally splitting the persona in two. Undeniably, his characters often seem to fuse with their surroundings, and hence rubbing the outline of the self.
In his self-portraits, the Id, the Ego and the Superego appear to have metaphorically expanded beyond his physical boundaries, to the point of embracing their environment. The latent tension inherent to the images Zank creates, reflect perfectly the inner emotional struggles of the artist. “This set of photographs represents my current and past emotions”, says Zank. “Being in control, being powerless, stuck, being free again, etc. Think of it like a power struggle.”