Influenced by scientific methods and the psychoanalytical theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, Graff created Professore as a second self, a kind of auto-collaboration for his art, to see how his alter-ego could challenge perceptions of identity and social constructs, as well as society’s innate trust in science and institutions. Professore projects the qualities of a highly educated and respected scientist, yet his complex and bizarre experiments isolate him and ultimately leave him misunderstood. This larger than life character appears to dramatically oscillate between the extremes of experience and uncertainty, control and failure, genius and insanity. Professore blurs the distinctions between fiction and fact. In his laboratory, he takes on a profound existence of his own where fantasy and reality become virtually inseparable. His unconventional science can range from the fantastic to the banal, but is always treated with equal reverence and ironically comes across as plausible. Professore also conducts his experiments in nature, addressing environmental issues, as in his Tree Intervention series and the 16 minute film Aspects Of Dendrology (2020), which address deforestation and climate change.
Professore is the alter-ego of the artist Stephane Graff, created in 2008 to further explore concepts of identity, social order and the aesthetics of science. Professore’s work is presented as an archive of photographs, drawings, sculptures and videos which record enigmatic, quasi-scientific experiments, using an array of analogue and vintage photographic processes.