Inner Contemplation // Contemplation intérieure © 2016 CHANT WAGNER
This photograph I made during the Advent period of winter 2016. A priest is praying. His gaze is turned inwards, towards the divine. You can feel how his eyes are looking within, towards the mysteries of the faith, rather than towards externalities...
In a humorous twist, the priest leading the ceremony noticed my presence and got distracted by it. It plays up the contemplative, devotional state of the young Catholic priest, by contrast.
The young priest's wax-like complexion reminds me of 19th century portraits, only more deconstructed color-wise. I am reminded of the visual shock I felt when visiting the Novodevichy Monastery near Moscow (Новоде́вичий монасты́рь, Богоро́дице-Смоле́нский монасты́рь), upon seeing Orthodox priests so untouched by the sun, they seemed to belong to another time and to have just stepped out of the 19th century paintings hanging above them.