If All Time Is Eternally Present

In mid-nineteenth century, photography somehow emerged as the mirror/reflection of a period of profound transformations.
In its pursuit of image quality and agile temporal realization, photography’s evolution brought about the emergence of values that became forever associated to it: a record or copy of an original, an archive, a memory, identity, fragmentation, a document, which served as the basis of ideological support and grounding for that same photograph.
At its core, this “invisible codes of the visible” photographic series, aims to truly understand the circumstances and/or surroundings in which the creation of these images is rooted.
Images are the result of an intention. Seldom, however, do we stop to analyze where the intention springs from; how it sprouts in our imagination; how we shape it and work it into the desired result.
The work herein chiefly addresses the history of art through images which does not happen logically and progressively, but rather discontinuously and simultaneously. My photographic production explores this specific topic.
Walter Benjamin defended the notion of surreal dialectical images. An image is dialectic in a state of suspension. Whereas its relationship to the past is purely temporal, the relationship between the “then” and the “now” is dialectical: not temporal but imaginal in nature.
Observing an image whilst ascribing it to the past, we do so in a temporal, chronological way. However, if we try to relate what it depicts with the now (present), such a relationship becomes dialectic: not temporal dialectic, but imaginative in nature. By adopting the dialectical image concept, Benjamin disintegrates the notion of history as narrative: discontinuous instead of linear and progressive.
Warburg’s Bilderatlas (an assembly of images in which he specializes time) supports the history of images as historical time condensed.
For him, the past is never a time elapsed, gone, for it constantly reappears in the present, without the latter being able to tame it. Tradition is therefore not linear: what succeeds does not imitate nor is it influenced by what precedes; in actuality, it’s an element of conflict and discussion between present and past.
By resorting to photographs from my personal archive, my production process, naturally interrogates this notion. All such photographs have a relation to the entirely temporal past, are a suspension of history, all contain intrinsic chronological elements. By re-interveningand “manipulating” images charged with their inherent anachronistic elements, I am effectively making a case for a temporal continuum or an “uncomplete” past.
This process is triggered by a new experience and distinct narrative which radically departs from each image’s originals. In other words, whenever adding or subtracting to/from an image, I am simultaneously deconstructing it whilst building a new one.
Pondering over this deconstruction/construction, prompts associations to Walter Benjamin’s dialectical image: a surreal image.
The imaginative process and its materialization are yet another topic manifested in the photographic project herein.
Human beings are set apart from all things living by “thought”- which grants us our human condition. Just as our body requires nutrition, images literally provide us food for thought: without the former, the latter cannot exist. Once codified, these external images become indelibly linked to the creations of our imagination.
Unlike vision, imagination is not temporally situated. It arises via completely distinct mechanisms. An image “imagined” forms spontaneously whereas an image “seen” is a visual response to our environs. They are radically different: the act of seeing, obeys and is subject to time- “visioning” an image conditions behavior. The act of “envisioning”, on the other hand, is unconditional and completely free to manifest itself, whenever and however it chooses to.
We are constantly confronted with what vision reveals: images that condition us and shape our actions and reactions. Notwithstanding, other images exist too: imaginary ones, closely linked to those of vision, but altogether dissimilar.
The “invisible codes of the visible” title straddles the line between vision and imagination. In photography, we typically associate seeing a photograph with the visible, and the unseen (the imaginary) with the invisible. This series aims to grasp how this “invisible” concept is manifested in photography. Imagery has the power and virtue of bridging between intellect and emotion; through visualization, it transports us to a fictional world. Imagination, “only sees what it wants to see”: an individual’s fantasy instead of an earthly construct- which exponentially magnifies the spectrum of possibility.