A different vision of photography: a theoretical reflexion about a poetic production

In this brief text I propose to make a theoretical reflection on my artistic production, my aim is to raise some problems and concepts that are presented in my works and try to reflect theoretically about them. The point that draws my attention and that will base all this reflection is the concept of displacement that my poetic process presents, using elements and processes typical of the photographic language to distort the visuality and rethink what is reality within the field of photography. In this sense, an issue that seems to appear as a power is the possibility of the cut and the framing. There are photographic images that use the cut and the framing and end up detaching the photographic image from the original reference space in which the image was removed. It is the case of this image aside that is part of the exhibition “Fronteiras Perdidas: limites dissolvidos entre o abstrato e o figurativo”. In it, the object and the elements of the visible reality do not reveal themselves, they only give a space to the imagination.

Another issue that concerns the visual displacement in the photographic image are the problems that the geometrical point presents in relation to the image. The image resulting from certain geometrical points recreates and modifies the characteristics of the object photographed, creating a different visuality, modifying it, finally, displacing it. In this image, a geometrically decorated box is placed on a wooden table, the non-linear perspective overlaps the element to the table hiding the difference of depth and giving the impression of a different image which distorts the reality.

In the photography, the use of mirrors allows you to capture light rays (and therefore, print on photo paper) objects that are not directly placed in front of the lens. The mirror itself, in thesis, does not appear in the image, what appears is the object (or scene) that it reflects. The reflective surface of the mirror rebounds to the film (or sensor) light rays that are not directly in the field of view of the photographic lens, but of the reflective surface of the mirror and, therefore, when it appears in photography, will introduce to the photographic space a new space problem. It is the case of this image below where the street’s trees are reflected in the surface of the glass and they overlap the yellow shutter that is inside, favoring the distortion of the image and its object.

To conclude, I would like to think of the visual displacements in photography that are provided by the relationship that language establishes with time. Walter Benjamin said that the camera revealed a world of images and aesthetic possibilities never seen before, and, as examples, he mentions the images of Blossfeldt which showed that « in the ‘equisseto’ the earliest forms of the columns, from the arborescent fetus to the episcopal miter, on the sprouts of chestnut and aceracea, increased ten times, totem poles, on the thistle a Gothic building » (2012, page 95) .

Thus, just as the photographic apparatus allowed us to look at fragments and details that were not perceived by the human eye, it also allowed us to move visibly through different temporalities, and it is from this that the chromatic anamorphism proposed by Arlindo Machado enters this reflection.

It is important to think that in photography, time is also a space problem, « the time in the photograph is thought from the spatial point of view, with an inscription in the corpus of the image » (COSTER, 2016, p.89). In the photo it can only be thought in terms of representation, « photography freezes space not time » (COSTER, 2016, page 90). This is the case of my serie « Virtuais » where I register the daily life of the center of Florianópolis, not to register people and their convivial environments, but mainly the space-time traces left by them.

This way, in this brief reflection I tried to give importance to some concepts and problems that appear in my artistic production, which transiting in the field of photography, seems to have as object the thinking about how the use of the fundamental elements of the language allows the distortion of reality. Starting from the relation that photography establishes with the real to reflect the unreal, problematizing not only the object and its representation, but also the photographic language itself.

Trying to name this photograph, you can think, at first. in the concept of “abstraction”, a common term much used by photographers and theorists over time, but that, in my way of seeing, already presents a conceptual problem: these photographic images do not point to a problem of abstraction simply because every photograph, not matter how figurative it may be, is an abstraction due to the mechanical aspect from which its process derives. For photography, the problem of « non-figuration » is not a problem of abstraction as it was for painting, but a problem of displacement of the photographic image from its referential space.

Finally, a displaced photograph, this is what this article is about, a serie of visual displacements given by photographic making, which from the use of the elements of its language, seeks to understand how the real can be perceived by the eyes of photography. This displacement photograph consists, therefore, of entering into the photographic language to extract from it, not what it proposes to do (creating copies of visible reality from the impression of luminous rays), but what can be done with it (understanding how its language acts in the relation between the photograph and the real).