Have you ever wondered what happens to your belongings when you leave the house in the morning? In Yurian Quintanas Nobel’s project Silent Rooms, the inanimate objects that quietly occupy the corners of his room spring to life to form unexpected and curious visual puzzles. A fine example of how photography makes us look afresh at our surroundings, Quintanas Nobel’s playful portrait of home shows how even the smallest details of the everyday can be transfigured when placed in front of the camera’s lens. “I imagine how these ordinary elements, boring and insignificant for us, quietly recover their own splendor when we close the doors of our houses,” he explains. Though silent, each image is filled with motion and energy that flows from one picture to the next as if to form a melody.
Using his hands, the photographer puts to work his cubist vision, deconstructing what he sees in front of him to rebuild a new, animated environment around his chosen subjects. “Starting from the fragmentation of each scene and a disordered composition, I approach the domestic environment in an abstract way, leaving only the most essential parts of each object visible,” says Quintanas Nobel. The resulting picture plane is a portal into a strange monochrome world devoid of any humans, but full of their traces. This parallel realm is defined by the flatness of photography, with everyday banal objects reduced into clean-cut geometric shapes. In their new lives, these objects seem to mimic the humans they share the house with, cartons donning fake eyelashes and cigarettes smoking themselves.
In transforming his surroundings, Yurian Quintanas Nobel seeks to challenge our perception of reality and the control and knowledge we seem to have over the visible world. Making the familiar unfamiliar, the lyrical world of Silent Rooms suggests there is more to what we see—and, contrary to our belief, the objects that share our space hum with their own uncontrollable energy. “Each photograph represents a room in the home where the objects interact among them, creating small narrations open to interpretation,” Quintanas Nobel explains. In this deconstructed ‘home’, we are invited to play a guessing-game in this strange world where things are not quite what they seem.