“What we say being an image, a semblance, is what without being really non-existent, doesn’t exist nevertheless.” Clément Rosset.
An image as a screen, a mirror, an illusion. A photograph as a surface, a superficies, a jumble of data pretending to reveal something.
The contemporary omnipresence of images has transformed the way we communicate. Photographs are ubiquitous, constantly circulating and transferring some kind of information. Which ones exactly, I am not sure we know.
Indeed, photography has been the modernist tool of excellence for an age that believed in science, objectivity and rationality. In post-modernity or the post-truth era, can photography still be a medium able to reflect upon our time? To translate what so often is withdrawn from our sight, hidden, concealed from public knowledge? To communicate the sensorial, the intangibility of feelings, the ambivalence of perception?
This exhibition proposes a look at artists using photography to reflect upon the ambiguity of vision. In their research, they twist the representative nature of the image to explore what is not visible. They look at themes such as the complication of communicating, the fleeting affects, the fragmentation of experiences, political secrets, prostitution, the relationship to our inner body, visual love, and social conventions.
The idea of surface is central to this selection: surface of the photograph, of the visible, of the viewable; surface that separates the outside from the inside, the public sphere from the private one; surface that conceals and creates meaning through interferences. Surface as a point of contact where things might happen.
Surface like a skin, the deepest thing in men, as Paul Valery would say.
Magali Avezou is an independent curator. She is the founder of archipelago, a curatorial platform focusing on visual culture and art publications. Her projects include ‘Murmur’, an exhibition on abstraction in photography presented at Flowers Gallery; ‘burning with pleasure’, a research project on artist’s books; ‘26 Caledonian Road, a site-specific exhibition commissioned by London College of Communication and ‘This is here’, a performative exhibition at St Bartholomew Church in London. She is a regular visiting lecturer at Northampton University, Winchester School of Arts, London College of Communication, Escola Massana and Instituto Europeo di Disegno. Her writing has been published by Photomonitor and Yet Magazine. www.archipelagoprojects.com