They play out like mini-movies. They captivate us with a small, moving detail. The term "cinemagraph" was first introduced to us by Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck only in early 2011. As an artistic medium, cinemagraphs have since become quite popular and the word is loosely defined as a still photograph in which a minor and repeated movement occurs. Usually published in an animated GIF format, they give the illusion that the viewer is watching a video.
Mainz, Germany-based Marcel Meyer just reached out to tell us about his haunting new cinemagraph set called My Favourite Childhood Nightmares. Meyer studied Media Arts at FH-Mainz in Germany and this was his final degree project. "It is a very personal project as well," he says, "all the images are inspired by dreams I had as a little child."
"It not only deals with fears and dreams, the unconscious or the childhood, it is also an attempt to combine two traditional types of media and create something completely new. My work settles somewhere between the traditional still photography and the moving image – it is no longer just photography and not yet a movie. What emerges is an entirely new form of storytelling."
Notice the subtlety in each; the slowly swaying balloon, the flickering lights of the chandelier or the oven's licking flames. Meyer takes us on a journey through the eyes of a young and precocious little boy, making us aware of the darker side of a child's overactive imagination.
"My cinemagraphs seem to got stuck on their way forward, they are looking for release in some sort of infinite loop – and that's where they unfold their very own melancholy, their magic."