05/02/2013 01:53 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Marion Tampon-Lajarriete Photos: 'The Viewers' Captures Cinematic Falls From Above (PHOTO)

By Jordan G. Teicher

It's a funny thing about the images we see in movies: We're aware they're fabricated, yet they can make us feel deep emotions, like sadness, happiness, and fear.


The irony is exceedingly clear in one classic movie image—a free-fall, shot from straight above the faller. It's that duality that photographer Marion Tampon-Lajarriete explores in her series, “The Viewers.”

"What interests me is really the fact that these apparently opposite phenomenons are co-existing in the everyday experience of watching an image or a film: both immersion and disbelief," Tampon-Lajarriete said via email.

While we identify emotionally with the characters in film, there are moments—like a free-fall—in which we are reminded of the irreconcilable distance between the character and the spectator. Someone is falling, and someone is watching. The illusion is revealed.

To create the series, Tampon-Lajarriete first shot her models in a studio using film. Then she superimposed those images on digital images of a still from a movie scene. The difference in quality between the film and digital images creates a sense of vertigo. Tampon-Lajarriete says that was no accident.

"This series is directly linked with the free-fall in ’90s action movies. But Hitchcock's film Vertigo is also, in a different way, very present," Tampon-Lajarriete said.

Tampon-Lajarriete, who works in both video and photography, said she often uses old Hollywood techniques like rear projection and more contemporary techniques like green screen.

"It is for me one of the many tools that allow me to produce a reflection upon the construction of images and our relation with them," Tampon-Lajarriete said.

See more photos on Slate.