Incômodos Project - A Study of the Immateriality of Objects
“Agulhas” series is a work in progress composed of black and white photographs produced in 35mm negatives and gelatin silver prints using small scale objects selected by the artist.
I. Ludic Research
The project’s central theme explores how photography maintains the physical dimension of common things, at the same time expanding their imaginary potential and conceptual values.
It presents as “non-human things” ordinary objects made extraordinary when photographed under savory and sensual treatments, modifications of scale and typical context, using juxtapositions or correlations between their form, state and texture. Values are seen under a new light, to become the center of attention.
Photographs in principle preserve the reality of the items being depicted, but its meanings are conceptually altered by the way the items are represented. Quotidian matter presented here is provided with a new visual content and imaginary possibilities that go beyond their ordinary function.
This preliminary series is comprised of objects that are appreciated, often related to positive feelings, and affective memories associated to the beautiful, the tasty, the fragrant, and the well-liked. The starting point is: “I like this...”, followed by a physical intervention that challenges the emotional value, raising doubts over the initial premise of object esteem. Discomfort arises from the interaction with other decontextualized albeit equally banal objects, presented under a new theme or within a slightly modified context.
Immaterial qualities of objects are questioned once the emphasized physical property extends beyond its prime function.
II. To Look / To See
The intention of these images is not only to modify the way we perceive our physical and social world, but also to expand our awareness to extraordinary dimensions, sending banal objects to a new transformational space as art. Our visual curiosity is encouraged by contemplation of the things that surround us on a daily basis through a new prism and imaginative way. In search for beauty, for visual poetry in the act of looking and seeing, the observer is lead beyond their idiosyncrasies.
In questioning our expectations regarding the nature of objects, Agulhas project presents non-documental photographs of impossible, imaginative, and improbable settings. Conceptual journeys encourage the viewer’s sensory participation, allowing the projection of prior experiences, hence the images are charged with personal matter.
Viewing the images instigates our inherent need to sense values or alternative meanings through sensory faculties contemplation; such as an insinuated touch or smell, the perception of textures and weight, or a memory of taste. Conjugating materials with antagonistic physical properties to create fanciful narratives, suggests an intriguing or uncomfortable vision.
As object staging turns into poetical observation, it illustrates how we conduct our lives through the unconscious act of identifying things according to their sole function, leaving in the background tactile and volumetric information, of a food for example, overlapped by the importance agreed to its taste.
Willing to demonstrate how partial our perspective can be, it explores the fact that humans can make use of microcosms to understand the macrocosm, and also the notion that human understanding can be limited to the visual dimension. Simple observation of an image with unpredicted elements can bother us and make us uncomfortable. Ordinary elements poetically re-arranged questions the belief that seeing something from a single point of view is knowing it. Thus, it demonstrates that we do not acknowledge in full the universe of vernacular symbols that surround us.
III. The Meaning of Things
Photographs tell a story, potentially transforming our perception of daily life. By pushing the boundaries of what could be considered a believable visual theme, the photography of “things” proposed in Agulhas series includes those objects that are often ignored or disregarded. The tactile and aesthetic characteristics transcend the conventional function of the object, which is unconsciously disrupted by this new order.
Art creation from quotidian matter transcends the limit between the photographic studio and the world. It calls for a longer look upon what we treat as secondary.
These images encourage awareness of what we see, how we see it, and release and mold our emotions and our understanding of the world. They offer the spectator an opportunity to interpret the images by their own signals and conventions, and at the same time triggering an inner search for authorial elements and personalized narratives of the re-contextualized subject.