«Imágenes de una nueva era fotográfica»


July 28 to September 8, 2016

In an era where a rapid and incalculable stream of images is overflowing social networks and where the viewer is using the photographic apparatus (formerly known as a camera) instinctively and almost unconsciously by eliminating the act of looking, it is important to stop and reflect on the position of photography in relation to contemporary art practices. Although the basics of photography have been restructured with scientific developments, such as with the emergence of color photography and snapshots or more drastically with scanning and data transmission, artists no longer only use the medium as a way to capture photographs as evidence or documentation, but rather as a tool for creating images. Their curiosity to explore the environment on the basis of ideas and methods such as experimentation, construction or collection of files to produce their own worlds, which are closely linked to imagination, helps to generate new conversations about the conditions affecting photography and its meaning today.

A broad variety of terms exist today which define the photographic medium; after the birth of digital images, terms such as post-photography, protography, liquid photography, instant vernacular photography, neo-baroque photography, among many others, have been coined and are mainly attributed to the democratization of photography with the emergence of the smartphone, extended with the use of platforms like Instagram, which have become legitimate means for the production, curation, exchange and consumption of images.

We are at a moment of history where homo sapiens has been reclassified by homo-photographicus, where language has been displaced by images. All our collective memory and life experiences are produced, filtered, shared, stored and faded massively with one click. But what is the consequence of this overcrowding and proliferation of digital photographs in the arts? What does it mean for an artist to use the photographic medium to solve a plastic piece? Are ‘photographs’ still being created or are we simply facing the endless production of ubiquitous images?

Rather than giving a specific answer to each of these questions on the current situation of photography, it is important to highlight the way in which different generations of artists are approaching the medium. This exhibition, titled “Translocaciones: Imágenes de una nueva era fotográfica”, brings together proposals from Ibero-American artists committed to the photographic practice, which transform traditional analog methods or test new advanced digital post-production processes to generate images that move away from the classical foundations, and where the process is also the protagonist. Although it is difficult to define the meaning of photographs due to the nature of the digital era, the projects presented in this exhibition approach the medium in various ways, including by brushing against the boundaries of other disciplines such as drawing, illustration, installation, sculpture and painting. Artistic works are dissimilar in themes and techniques, but most have one thing in common: the end result is a constructed image, which is one of the defining characteristics of this new period experienced by contemporary photography.

Homo-photographicus: Term coined by Joan Fontcuberta in his text “Pandora’s camera”.
Liquid Photogtaphy: Term proposed in 1950 by Zygmunt Bauman in his text “Liquid Modernity and Human Fragility”.

Santiago Forero and Javier Vanegas