Ruben Plasencia’s Photographs Of The Blind Explore The Concept Of Prejudice

Ruben Plasencia

Ruben Plasencia Ruben Plasencia Ruben Plasencia

Ruben Plasencia settled on the idea of photographing the blind when contemplating how to approach the subject of prejudice as an artist.  He felt that blind individuals are unique because they are subject to prejudice, but don’t generate prejudice against others the way people who can see do.  His series, Obscure, forces viewers to look directly into the eyes of people who cannot return the stare.

Working with ONCE, Spain’s national organization for the blind, to complete the project, Plasencia found himself incredibly moved by the experience.  Of the project he writes:

Racist prejudices and stereotypes continue to dominate our societies — judgments which are made at a level that is only skin-deep. In “Obscure”, I created portraits of the blind. These faces create a mockery of our unthinking dependence on vision. A blind person seeks more reliable ways to read between the lines and understood essences, no longer able to fall back on their eyesight as the only reliable means.

I composed the portraits in a simple manner: a figure and a ground. I wanted to eliminate as many external factors as possible and leave behind only what’s most important to me: “The Look”.

Far from being a simple visual appetizer, this project ventures to convey the deepest intimacy of the look. By gazing upon eyes which cannot see, I want us feel deeply what it means to have sight. Despite having the gift of vision, we manage to blind ourselves every day. We are all given the great opportunity to observe and I hope we can appreciate its value. (via LensCulture)

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