Mountains and Valleys of Uncanny Beauty (work in progress 2023 - )
These works represent a conceptual study that explores the metalanguage of photography as a medium, and more specifically, the syntax of materiality in the analogue photography. Searching for private meaning in the collective, the appropriated memories, the beautiful in the repulsive – all of that lies at the heart of this series, which is grounded in a nostalgic quest for meaning in the visual code of the photography medium.
The transformation of contemporary photography and the untraceable link between the reality and the messages and signs circulating in it, for the first time in history, have produced a critically insurmountable distance from the historical essence of analogue photography – to serve as a testimony and a memory bank. The slogan called upon in the past with each discovery of a new image-creation technology – photography is dead – has finally gained a rational meaning. Photography is dead, long live photography! Analogue photography has indeed dropped the shackles associated with the status of an indexed medium and a memory bank. The understanding that analogue photography serves as a memory-preserving medium nowadays transforms into new beliefs, where the syntax of analogue photography is perceived by the viewers rather as a nostalgic and ambient set of symbols. The language of analogue photography is no longer unambiguous evidence of something present, but rather functions as a portal for an introspective quest for self-awareness and understanding of reality, overshadowed by an anxious realisation of the impossibility of such a task. Nowadays, the materiality of analogue photography denotes what can be termed the archaeology of memory ruins, where continuous erosion of photo materials and marks contained therein is closely linked to the viewer’s awareness of self as a mortal being. Every photograph and even raw (unprocessed) photo materials are characterised by a disquiet of doom that confronts us with our own temporality.
Old and semi-degraded analogue photo materials have been used to make these works, alongside old accidentally found photographs and my own prints that were rephotographed multiple times. In these works, the erosion of analogue photo materials and photographs highlights not only the vector for the loss of meanings, but also the emergence of a constellation of new ruin marks, in which fascinating terror is the basis of the language of photography.