all untitled from the series Sphere
Archival Pigment Prints
Edition of 5
“Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.”
I have been working towards the composition of a landscape. Landscape in the sense of an open focus or a search. Of looking at things from a distance – because the concept of distance or of the right distance constitutes the very essence of landscape.
Sphere is an ongoing body of work where I look into the diverse definitions of landscape and the way our expectations and desires are constructed around them. I set-up these images to construct fictions in a very premeditated way. In this sense I deal with a subjectivity that is the envelope of all landscapes: the way this word is used to denote an overview of something, or more poignantly: of everything.
For example, a wave in the ocean whose curvature reminds us of the horizon line, the end of the earth, and a planet within a whole universe. Here, two distances operate simultaneously and two landscapes roll forward side by side. The flat earth, the panoramic format of landscapes with the planet and all that lies beyond. The ocean portrays a sense of openness; in this case I think it does that in its broadest sense.
Cliché images are also of interest to me, for example a photograph of two small figures standing in a body of water, which reflects them in the glowing sunset, speaks more to me about National Geographic than about the aesthetic or emotional qualities it has. Any reading having to do with the figures’ posture, which suggests mourning, privation, or absence would miss the point that it’s not so much the light or the figures that carry the interest, but the rendered earth and soil that frame the ellipse-shaped body of water. Here the stylized format of a famous magazine has given me the cue for a posing photograph.
Nevertheless, all of these landscapes are constructs in one way or another. They may be social ideals, desired landscapes or fictional ones, and in some cases they may be landscapes under construction, or interior ones. This multiplicity of landscapes suggests that the term itself is ripe for a non-linear project allowing me to draw parallels and follow tangential lines of thought about what exactly I have been photographing. Helping me to find the right distance.
Some of my photographs carry an element of the uncanny in the way they appear to be set-up, built in the way film sets are constructed. Fake spaces, all too real because they look fake, and with them come all the clues that might begin to tell a narrative. A desire: the dream of an oasis in the middle of the desert is in truth a mental postcard of what we subjectively imagine it to look like. Although in reality it might just be Coney Island.
This double operation leaves much room open for the viewers to project their own desires and expectations onto the images. They are open containers, waiting to be filled with gazes. I think of them as taking place after a subjectivity crisis, after the death of the subject everything is equal and curves along the earth. The centre is always displaced, just as if we were walking along Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty.
I continue to work in the process of a non-linear project by guiding my selections and efforts towards even more diverse views and tangents so that, in time, the project as a whole will fulfill its transformative becoming. The way daily revisionist tendencies transform all larger categories.
Each work is considered a stand-alone piece, which when shown together will reveal a bigger picture and present a distanced cross-section of the concept of landscape. One to be filled in by the viewer.