Le veritable vertige, c’est l’absence de la folie.
Inspired by the writings of Emil Michel Cioran, the 20th century philosopher and essayist, Max de Esteban’s Vertige investigates the role of doubt as a fundamental moral value. For Cioran, doubt served as a necessary catalyst for creativity, innovation, rebellion, and even civilization itself. A profound thinker who explored the nature of civilization and barbarism, he believed it was the latter which ultimately prevailed.
At once both insecure and skeptical, the civilized suffer these apparent contradictions, and it is this inherent discord that gives rise to his humanity. In contrast, the barbarian—adopting the logical fallacy of false dichotomy—embraces his beliefs with complete passion, and is driven by the ambition of global ideological dominance.
Vertige is comprised of twelve images, each representing an expression of doubt. Each work serves to illustrate one of the ways man responds when confronted by doubt, and de Esteban challenges the viewer to identify himself in the photographs. The actual image, background text, title and subtitle are all integral components and, for de Esteban, are necessary for a complete and comprehensive understanding of each work.