Camille Lévêque‘s photographs from ‘The Number Three’ are a strange motley collection of pictures that explore the magic behind the ordinary and the mystical that lies beneath the banal, her images an attempt to find significance in the magic number three and the universal rules that govern us all.
Why three? Well according to Pythagoras the number 3, which they called triad, is the noblest of all digits, as it’s the only number to equal the sum of all the terms below it, and the only number whose sum with those below equals the product of them and itself. It’s also a number common to all the major faiths; the Christian Holy Trinity, the Hindu Trimurti, the Hindu Tridevi, the Three Jewels of Buddhism, the Three Pure Ones of Taoism and the Triple Goddess of Wicca. This strange coalescing of secular thought and religious mysticism has been with us from the dawn of time. For what reason we may never know. But it’s a truth nonetheless. It dominates our history, philosophy and mathematical understanding of the world and in these photographs Lévêque attempts to thread these aspects of her life through the prism of this mystical digit.
They are raw pictures, caught as if in passing, ordinary still lives given import through the perceived wisdom of the ages. Of 3. Make of it what you will. For me the significance of these photographs lies in their conceptual premise. They demand your time. So stop. Consider. And find your own connections. Here’s what Lévêque has to say about her project:
There are some universal rules that seem to govern over those of men and nature – these mystical laws would appear to dictate the things that surround us. The number three rule has always had a significant impact on my life.
Past, present, future. The body, the mind, the soul.
Length, width, hight. The man, the child, the woman.
Triptychs with an unsettling clarity in a life made of superstition and symbolism, the number three rule weaves a impeccable pyramid longing for the skies.
Those names of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit invoke harmony in all elements altogether with nature.
This rule thus crosses ages, cultures, and disciplines – trinity, trilogy, triptych – to finally settle as a mystical line, whether it be perceptible or unseen, of nature and things.
I was born on the third of the month November.
The number three thus established itself as a prism through which these recurrent symbols are drawn naturally, the black cat, the ladder, the scaffolding, the magic.