Curator : Javier Villa
1.9.17 - 30.9.17
In 1898 Oscar Wilde was dispatched against nature and in favor of lies. The Decay of Lying is, above all, an argument about how life imitates art. We are currently in an anti-mimetic era (or inverted mimesis?): No one would doubt that images design life forms. Even several lives seem to be anchored in a specific pantone; an emotionality cataloged by a certain filter of the iphone. Life became a huge chroma-key on which to superimpose our daily fiction (although nothing is printed anymore). And the city, for those of us who are cosmopolitan, in its complex scenery.
--- It is not a problem that there is no distance between fiction and reality. When my daughter asks me if unicorns exist, I answer yes because she can imagine, describe or draw them; as I also tell him that it is true that more and more people are sleeping on the street because he can see them. Fiction used to be a field of the arts, today it seems to be a field dominated by politics. The problem is not having lost the area of specificity of our discipline, but to ignore the power that the fusion between fiction and reality can cause; a fusion that would allow, more than ever, to think how from art something can be done to change the course of the general narrative. For those who make art with photography the situation is even more challenging. They will battle in the center of a ring full of social networks and applications, mass media, their satellites and drones, games of verisimilitude and manipulation of documents.What does a photographer anchor himself if there is no longer a consistent mass of reality, but a heaped mass of fictions? Try to appeal to an emotional state shared by some? Narrate a micro-story that talks about the human condition? Compose or shred pantones as if they were the still life of the 21st century? ---
A guy travels three hours one way and three hours back to work, he takes care of a terrace with synthetic grass that nobody goes up to. He walks from one side to the other in silence. The sun slashes his forehead for eight hours. It is the eighth floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Sao Paulo, one of the best views of the megalopolis.
At the time when she was building the House of Glass - the middle of the 20th century - Lina Bo Bardi would say: “Until man enters the building, he does not climb the steps, he does not have the space in a 'human adventure' that it develops over time, architecture does not exist, it is a cold, non-humanized scheme. Man creates with his movement, with his feelings ”. Could something similar be said today about photography? How to think about a human adventure from a fixed image that has become an everyday language? How to expand photography in time and space, that the image causes movement or a physical sensation? We are used to looking at images on screens, projecting a still image would then make more sense than printing it. A projected still image can grow larger, wrap or turn into a chroma-key so that one can project their own film. In the center of an empty space, this image could expand its ability to provoke the senses: the image could be entered not only from the visual sense, but also from the spatial sense, the sense of gravity or the auditory, the feeling of the city that breathes behind us or the proximity of the bodies that we are not seeing --- that image vibrates when a bus passes by the gallery street or moves slowly through the air that moves a body that passes by its side- -. Finding a body that feels like a worker on a terrace feels, like a terrace feels the city, like the image feels when moving. An image that is no longer fixed.
In 1990 WG Sebald wrote Vertigo. Master in verisimilitude production. It was a few years ahead of the era of fictions related by contemporary art from the archive or the document; biennial realism that exploded alongside the digital age and image manipulation (Sebald anticipated this too --- they are two sides of the same coin). His chroma was not green or blue, but white. But I could still make you feel that what I was narrating in words had happened thanks to the inclusion of photographs. The lack of gap between fiction and reality can be dizzying today, and perhaps the photographic image is the most capable medium to provoke that physical sensation. Vertigo can be a simple subjective sensation, a fiction or a disorder, but the truth is that we feel -physically- how things begin to move. Paraphrasing Bo Bardi, that which surrounds man begins to exist.