How to get you

From 27/09/2012 To 18/11/2012

Those who say “cheese” while a photographer is taking their picture unconsciously admit that time is transformed by photography.
A photographic image is static, while reality flows through time.
When this flow is interrupted by a photograph, a new and photographic meaning is discovered.
Reality is a person saying “cheese”.

Stephen Shore

On the meanings and levels of interpretation of photography

The idea is born out of the illusion of opening a window onto the world, albeit one immediately enclosed within the frame of a photograph. The immediate result is an object with clear, circumscribed borders that freezes an on-going moment in order to evoke its story or its memory. This is a first level of interpretation of the image, inextricably bound up with the contingency of reality, beyond which open others that draw on the sphere of sensibility and perception in an ambivalent exchange between those who create the image and those who observe it.

Photography thus reveals itself, like a Chinese box. Over the centuries it has investigated itself, going beyond the illusory threshold of truth and reaching the heart of its raison d’etre, which expresses itself in new meanings that are ever changing and dependent on emotive, intentional and perceptive causes.
The process that leads to individual expression through photography may take different paths that inspire deeper levels of interpretation. Starting with the idea whereby the previsualization of the image and therefore the circumscribing of it within the confines of a frame, without any opportunity of modifying it, is wholly restrictive, we have reached the desire to overcome the physical limits of the object through centripetal lines and configurations, in the order of symbolic or centrifugal creative inputs, in the case of snapshots of the world as social or cultural documents.
In both cases, what drives the artist is the need to go beyond the visible towards hyperreal dimensions, towards descriptive possibilities far more acute than the human eye.
The borders of the photograph are thus but a creative pretext, a threshold it is legitimate to overcome, from the inside or from the outside, according to the expressive demands of the observer.

In the second half of the twentieth century, the tendency to go beyond the staticness of the photographic image, with regard to its capacity to faithfully reproduce reality, became programmatic, gaining currency on the one hand in the “hyperreal” works of artists such as Minor White and Harry Callahan, and on the other in the reportage of Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand.
In the first case, the camera was considered as a machine capable of producing metamorphosis, capable that is of producing, from the inside, new events, different to those represented, towards the decomposition of form and substance. In the second case, instead, the photographic image appears to be without physical limits; it extends well beyond the cropping of the borders and embraces that which is outside itself, rendering our vision more acute, far more incisive that it was at the moment of the shot.

These illustrious examples from American photography, because they are so different to one another in terms of style and artistic sensibility, may be useful to a comprehension of the new meaning that photography takes on in the language of images.
They neatly introduce the parallels between the works of Pina Inferreira and Borje Tobiasson, themselves artists with very different backgrounds yet both close to the idea of photography as a record of a thought, of a perception or of a vision that goes beyond the support for the image as the first level of a reading of reality.
Pina Inferreira
Pina Inferreira’s photographs find in the natural world the context that best represents the dual spirit of her artistic expression. In these images the decontextualization of the subject, which induces an almost surreal dimension, stretching the verisimilitude with respect to reality, coexists with an opening to the melancholic scenario of a disfigured nature.
Fragments of landscape, captured in the visual synthesis that focuses on a series of shattered tree trunks, induce us to observe the “natural objects” as an unconsciously constructed space, a space in which the imagination may lose itself and enrich itself with new and unexpected forms. In these works, the roots of the trees torn from the earth are captures in their barest essence, reducing the substance to lines and segments that exist in a life beyond the environment in which they are found. Their entwining or stretching towards the earth, or towards the water of a river, communicates a sensation that is born out of the perception of internal and autonomous movement of the subjects.
This cannot, however, induce us to think of Pina Inferreira’s photographs as an escape from reality. This would be a restriction of the communicative potential of these works in which the artist's gaze broadens to encompass the landscape surrounding her, capturing its not only evocative but also unexpectedly decadent dimension.
Pina Inferreira’s works are portraits of ambiguous natural beauties, ruined by man and yet usable. In the reflections in the water and the barely hinted at colours of algae, flowers and mosses display the
apparently uncontaminated as the mere result of the, momentary, absence of human presence.
In this sense, the dual reading to which it is possible refer in understanding Pina Inferreira’s photographs is born out of the artist’s awareness of describing a segment of reality irrespective of what it may evoke. The desolate landscape thus becomes the pretext for a critique of the present or a future intuition, following dreamlike perceptions beyond any context of reference.

Borje Tobiasson
With regard to stories through images, Borje’s photos are works of a notable expressive intensity, linked to one another in a series of different scenarios and situations.
From this point of view, great importance is given to the construction of the photographic sequence that inspires, and at the same time justifies, the observer’s uncontrollable curiosity to go beyond the individual image and, therefore, deeper than an initial iconographic reading of Borje’s photographic project.
For example, the scene of a man seen from behind as he grasps the hand of a woman with a mysterious gaze is captured in the transience of a metropolis that is barely intuited from the sharp background of a building. What captures the attention in this photograph by Borje is paradoxically that which is not represented in it: the story of its subjects, perceptible only in the intensity of a gaze.
Our wonder comes from the intuitive thrust to go beyond the borders of the image, accentuated by the composition of centrifugal lines, that extend from the artist’s mental framing through to his experience of and interaction with the reality represented.
Hence the succession of Borje Tobiasson's images fulfils the cognitive input inspired by the first image, slashing the physical limit of the print to open broad and multiple narrative scenarios.
In this sense, the view from above of Ramses Square in Cairo and the crowded streets of the Egyptian capital compose the picture of a developing story that draws of the curiosity of its observers, as well as from the artist’s travel diary.
In these images there is an implicit interpretation of photography as the all-seeing eye, capable of capture more than the human eye can see. For Borje Tobiasson the camera rather than a means of recording a seen image appears to represent an instrument for questioning the world and its representation, in the light of reportage that stimulates ideas and suggestions through growing interpretative levels of an image.

Art Exhibitions Turin



Contemporary Art Exhibitions Turin
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