Art of Imperfection, October 2012
, Ryuji Araki:
Each object that I create has a human perspective, as you could imagine every object having a different appearance of style and feeling. These objects were composed with the thought of a particular position in society. All creatures have their own consciousness and an irreplaceable lifetime. It is hard to think there is a solution, a better future for our society, however we cannot go back to the past; we, as humanity, will advance into the future.
Two prints – Feeling of Life: 91.5cm X 91.5cm Digital C-type Matt Print. 5 Edition
Feeling of Life X: 91.5cm X 91.5cm Digital C-type Matt Print. 5 Edition
Two prints – Human System: 70cm X 50cm Giclee Print
3×3=9G : 70cm X 50cm Giclee Print.
One print – 11.3.11: 48cm X 48cm Digital C-type Matt Print.
Five prints – Square 01: 30cm X 30cm Digital C-type Matt Print.
Square 02: 30cm X 30cm Digital C-type Matt Print.
Square 03: 30cm X 30cm Digital C-type Matt Print.
Square 04: 30cm X 30cm Digital C-type Matt Print.
Shell: 30cm X 30cm Digital C-type Matt Print.
and Bernhard Deckert : father and son (1st attempt)’, 2012
„do it again, it’s not good enough! do it again!“ „it’s perfect, it’s more then perfect. full stop! …I can always call it ‚1st attempt’…“
‚father and son (1st attempt)’ is about dreams, questions, answers and more questions. About the perfect, mistakes and control.
It’s work in progress and will always be. I’m working with digital and traditional photography, with sculpture and chemical processes. By challenging the ‚rules’ of the media, I work until the image feels right, until it moves me. The process is a conversation, changing a clear idea and starting point with every pixel, grain, stroke.
2 c-type prints, black and white, handprocess, approx. 39×47“, unique copies
In the nineteen century, john Hershel made a surprising discovery described thus in the focal encyclopaedia of photography: “latent images could be prepared which could only be seen when breathed on …acquiring in this process an extraordinary intensity “This statement contains the enigmatic contradictory nature emulated throughout the development of the photographic phenomenon.
Is photography an art? Can it produce art? Can this art relate to previous modes of expression? Do we betray the so-called function of photography by interlacing its process and that of other forms of expression? Can painting be related with photography without losing its organic edge? Can we see photography with fresh eyes and allow it to expand and transform as an art in fact able to embrace all other mediums? Is photography a basic mode of seeing preceding our own conscious vision of the world and as such do we in fact go back in time by allowing this instinctive device to modify our perception?
Michel Foucault wrote once of humanity as a mere trace about to dissolve: “Man will be erased like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea.” Since the dawn of our time, the humanoid has performed acts of self idolatry parallel to intense rituals of universal absorption using one of the most instantaneous and natural methods, the imprint of his signature, the sign of his presence, the ideogram representing him most acutely and accurately, the hand in particular, a predecessor to portraiture, in particular through the medium of photography and painting. This is perhaps where the affiliation truly lies, this act of affirmation in the face of oblivion, This portrait of the human self however can and will take many forms, especially in relation to a more internal or mystical search. We can find examples of this in some of the oldest traces of our creative presence as with the hand stencils in the Altamira caves. This also puts another determining factor of rapprochement between painting and photography, the use of a two-dimensional surface as a carrier of a three dimensional subject and as a signifier of a space invisible to the eye. It seems photography has evolved along the lines of the human embryo encompassing in its fulgurant journey the evolution of life itself. Its natural occurrence predates human utilisation, as it is hinted at in John Hershel’s comment, where he discovers a process that may manifest without him. I recall having left a page of tracing paper pinned to a wall in which words had been cut out. Upon removing it, a friend and I realized an imprint had been made, a negative where the paper had not obstructed the light. This was the result of a natural phenomenon called photography. Having found what appeared as a saviour from romantic illusionism, our hopes for scientific perfection has seized and arrested the fluidity of a vision tuned in the very wave of time/space continuum.
No less relevant and another area of contention is the compositional property of painting as opposed to the purported acompositional property of photography. Edgar Degas shows us that having embraced photography as a worthy medium with which he experimented daringly, his use of composition drastically challenged pictorial tradition, showing the tell-tale signs of a lens based perspective, the eye now cornered into the apparatus of ‘mechanical vision’ deconstructing the institutional static model. A fusion of two arts at war with one another was beginning to take place, and it became clear photography would become a hot bed of revolutions, admitting tradition as well as avant-garde on an equal footing. Along the line a third permutation occurred, the digital Coptic regime. Once again however, even this apparently monopolistic medium was incorporated in the evolution of a medium thriving on innovation. Instead of a clean linear brake, the vision was transformed and its complexity multiplied resulting in a rebirth of obsession for the root of its application. In 2012, while humanity drowns in virtual images of itself, certain artists use photography as a metaphoric tool, as did certain painters, suggesting this particular medium despite its ability to be reproduced can also produce unique portals into the deeper folds of consciousness where traditions and conventions are superseded by imagination and poetry. Instead of saving us from art, photography proves we cannot evolve without it, although a tendency to impose symmetry with the patina of false perfection has impeded this momentum. As Orson Wells quoting Kipling says in his momentous movie F for fake: “And the devil asked…It is pretty but is it Art?” One could venture that without the devil and his curiosity, the detail is dissolved in the banality of a perfect and pretty world. Raw beauty is not pretty as Orson Wells fully demonstrated.
This show includes three artists who make use of this medium with a conscious disregard for flatness, reproducibility and static design entering the quantum realm by unifying the instant and the eternal the distant and the local. Photography moving with a body, transmuted into a personal understanding of the Mandala
among natural forms or fathomed as receptacle of visceral and psychic phenomena, with an accolade to the Dada artists, the anonymous visionaries of medieval times and the creative shamans who painted on rocks more than 15 thousand years ago.
Copyright © Pascal Ancel Bartholdi 2012