Works from the series of photos “Thicket” were created with a purpose of approaching and exploring the reality by seeking truth and meaning in the mundane, the daunting and the appropriated.
Since the heyday of ancient Greek philosophy, the Western world has been grounded in the ocular cultural tradition which conceptually relates the visible to the authentic, the objective and the representational. Hence, visual perception in the Western culture has been elevated to the status of a trustworthy source of wisdom. In the media age, the multiple and publicly available representational technologies have channelled an image flow of apocalyptical proportions. To paraphrase Borges, the map has expanded to become larger and more detailed than the territory it represents. The map of the media age comprises all of the countless images that over-saturate our everyday life with detailed depictions of reality, thus overshadowing the reality itself and metaphorically questioning its very existence. Reality is by no means lost. Rather, it has transformed into a hybrid construction of the actual and the pictorial. Photography as a medium has long since failed to provide an accurate description of the world or add new information to the existing reality. Instead, it constructs a new world which is based on new sense-making relationships and lives according to its own rules where visually stimulated worlds function as the only reference point in the individual’s search for oneself and meaning.
Despite frequent doubts over the shortcomings of photography as an instrument of inquiry, it still plays an important part in the everyday life of contemporary individuals as they attempt to approach the reality and understand the interplay of their own selves, their (re)presentations and realities. Photography in its metaphysical sense is like an extraordinary, partially transparent spatial object which extends both into the actual and the imaginary space and time, simultaneously testifying of the presence and absence of the depicted objects, persons and processes.
This series of works is a subjective reaction to the contemporary reality where the mundane, private and political discourses are aesthetically interwoven and, as such, preclude unambiguous description or portrayal. The essence of these works is grounded in the search for the meta-story of the mundane and the extraordinary, by focusing on the insignificant and by appropriating other images. The method of creating these works, on the other hand, is rooted in the belief that an artist’s every gesture is a unique auto-poetical ritual; a rite through which an artist establishes meaningful links that bridge the actual and the imaginary by confronting the hidden and the fearsome in the individual and the collective.
My work on this series began several years ago when I undertook a visual autopoiesis journey between Africa, the basemen of my own home and various art museums across Europe. With these works I intend to explore the places, events and images that symbolically connote the cultural manifestations of the collective unconscious. The series can be structured into three parts. The first group of photos was made by appropriatingly focusing on the motifs of Christianity, the sublime and the heroisation of suffering in the paintings of the Romantic age. The second group was created on a journey through former Western colonies in Africa by taking night-time pictures of places and people. These photos are shot without a tripod and with long exposure; this method enables recording on film not only the external environment, but also the rhythm of my breathing and heartbeat, thus approximating the aesthetics of these photos to the motifs characteristic of painting. The third group of photos is shot in the basement of my home as a macro-study of insects, cobwebs and dust.
An integral component of these works is a sound project, which has been created with the purpose of reconstructing and elaborating on the experience of space and landscape through sound, using self-made sound sculptures as a medium. Sound sculptures are defined as self-made formations that are created from various materials such as glass, garbage, stone, metal, etc. and function as resonators. For instance, a record of dripping water in a dilapidated building. Afterwards the obtained sound pieces are transformed and modified, illustrating the way photographic images change our perceptions of space and time - by fragmenting, slowing down, stopping and imparting the listener/spectator with the ability to simultaneously access and manage the past and the here and now.