Project info

The Voice of the Recording

Rather than a specific project, Aylaik began like a simple exercise of observation. I used to stop briefly to contemplate the people on the streets of my city: their customs, their movements, their thoughts that seemed inner, their insights, their doubts… I simply observed as an onlooker, another citizen, until one day – I’m not sure whether intuitively or in a more rational way – I realized just how valuable that material was, and I decided to record it. Although I am sure that I was not the first person to notice it, it came to me in a natural way.

I had already entered the world of photography some time ago in very different fields, but that angle of objectivity that the camera provides, always enabled me to access things and people in a very specific way. I noticed how, as one famous artist said, “Taking photographs is to see the world in images.”

I decided that it was important to use the means I was already familiar with to perform this recording, because what I actually aimed for, almost compulsively, was to register these observations. It was then that the first technical issue arose: How would I achieve this? How could I ensure that my “models” would continue to behave in the same way? A telephoto lens was not the solution, it never had been. Robert Cappa once said that if you wanted to improve your photos, you should move closer. And he was obviously referring to the soul, not the body.

I was sure that I could not achieve this in my studio, neither could I ask them to pose for me, it would have ruined their freshness and spontaneity. Losing these values would mean losing the strength that makes an image credible and therefore beautiful in its natural condition.

I therefore made a second decision: to begin an analytical task and at the same time an adventure, almost like a hunt that would allow me to directly or indirectly obtain the images that my eyes could see but which flittered away like skylarks from my eager lens. I trailed my city from end to end; I roamed its streets, every corner, its light and shadowy half-light, to find the perfect poetry. With infinite patience, I awaited in dimly lit nooks, where a mere ray of diagonal light would cut across my chosen scene, allowing me to view the development of the most impressive sequence of anonymous figures in just a fraction of a second, miraculously lit up by the law of fugacity, just to vanish as if devoured, by the vast greatness of the dark, shadowy night. My “models”, were revealed through the eye of my camera for a fraction of a second in their inevitable naturalness, revealing their beauty in tiny doses, driving my diligence of trapping them through my cunningness and the magic of the attentive eye. Through accident and control.
Many of these shots have ended up in photographic archives, barely reviewed, merely left to rest over time. Day after day, I went through them to ask them –now in their paused state- to show me their truth, and sure enough, many of them contain the miracle; they are without doubt “the voice of the recording” because within them they possess the essence of the idea of insight that I need. My desired essence.
I classified the images according to their poetic category (an arduous task). I am not able to explain the reasons for their differences, I could not even wilfully assign them their value. They arise spontaneously.

With an almost voyeur approach, I have managed to identify different attitudes, make a soul to soul approximation, an intrusion into their innermost meaning, as if it was some type of police enquiry. A task of ocular dissection, taxidermy, the frenetic search to discover the serene nature of each urban “being” by infiltrating through their clothes, their skin…for no other reason than to pique my own curiosity and that of other viewers –and/or their conscious participation- to make the invisible visible. Undoubtedly, I thought about the limitations of photography and I understood their futile desire. Because our own world, that which we believe to be unique, so much a part of us.

Oriol Llauradó
Barcelona, July 2016