Dune Varela’s series ‘Toujours le soleil’ (‘Forever the sun’) – by shooting the prints with a gun experimenting with accidents in a process of losing control upon the result as a creative search of dual meaning about destruction and the fragility of the material.
Dune Varela – Forever the sun
“What interest me most is working on the materiality of the images and conducting somewhat physical experiments on them. I like to explore the idea of re-representation because an image is already a representation and how it is represented a new in an exhibition… I like incorporate accidents in my work. One day I said ‘I’d like to shoot at the image. I’m going to be the Niki de Saint Phalle of photography”.
The project was created as the BMW Residency award won by the artist in 2016 where she was given a ‘carte blanche’ to further her photographic research and experimentation.
“The term Samsara literally means world and ‘aimless wandering about’ with the connotation of and refers to the experience of the world around us and the way we perceive it. In Zen Buddhism the phenomenal world is ephemeral and impermanent therefore a mere illusion.
‘And if time is not real, then the dividing line that seems to lie between this world and eternity, between suffering and bliss, between good and evil, is also an illusion’
Carrie Mae Weems series ‘Sea Islands’ (1991-1992) – through highlighting the significance of the landscape along the Georgia/Carolina coast in the United States bringing to present the memory of silenced people from the Creole culture once brought there as slaves.
“One midnight at high tide, a ship bringing in a cargo of Ebo (Ibo) men landed at Dunbar Creek on the Island of St. Simons. But the men refused to be sold into slavery; joining hands together they turned back toward the water, chanting, “The water brought us, the water will take us away.” The all drowned, but to this day when the breeze sighs over the marshes and through the trees, you can hear the clank of chains and echo of their chant at Ebo Landing.”
Johan Österholm’s series ‘Peculiar Motions at Dusk’ – “On an autumn day in the mid 1660s the young Isaac Newton found himself observing the orchard through the window of his study at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire. As the afternoon descended into dusk and the moon appeared as a pale disc above the trees, he was startled by the sight of an apple dropping to the ground. ”Does the moon also fall?” he asked himself, as he returned to the worktable, and made a mental note for what would later become the Law of Universal Gravitation, the starting points for the Scientific Revolution.”
Daren You’s series ‘Chaos’ – dark tones for infinite universe, wind, clouds, water for unpredictable elements as subjects, and merging different photographic techniques, in exploring the chaos as completely disordered event.
Daren You – Chaos
“Chaos is a property of dynamic systems. A dynamic system is nothing more than a source of changing observations. It is impossible to predict and control. If law and order rule the universe, chaos, by contrast, is its totally disorganized opposite. In order to liberate my photographs completely, I have intentionally introduced chaos into my images.
I used several techniques from historic to contemporary to process the same image such reticulated film through a high temperature developing process, liquid emulsion, inkjet printing, darkroom printing and encaustic painting. These multi-layered photos push beyond the edge of artistic control and merge as complex and unconstrained.”
Xiaoyi Chen’s series ‘Koan’ – using the photogravure process and with Eastern aesthetic to explore beneath the surface of symbolic and following to the Zen and Taoist philosophy opening up the territory of the pre-verba in getting closer to the concept of purity.
Xiaoyi Chen – Koan
“Tao and Zen always advise people to stay absolutely quiet and purify thought processes. In order to achieve this goal, our attention should focus on the most basic form of the universe’s existence. In Zen Buddhism, Koan is a story or riddle used to help in the attainment of a state of spontaneous reaction, free from planning and analytical thought. In contradiction to Western philosophy, Koans emphasize the inadequacy of language and words, and the importance of intuition over reason and logic, to transform the self.
I named the series Koan, and selected abstract landscape photographs to do a photo-etching process; the results of this craft are poetic and full of imaginations. Also only uses black ink and print on different Japanese papers, the color derives from the atmosphere of desolation and melancholy and the expression of minimalism in ancient Chinese poetry and monochromatic ink painting.”
Suzanne Jongmans’s ongoing series ‘Mind over Matter’ – portraits in the tradition of the 15th, 16th and 17th century Dutch masters, dressed with sculptural form costumes of recycled materials created by the artist herself as a swing from past to present in observing the existence of another reality.
Suzanne Jongmans – Mind over Matter
“Most people throw away foam rubber, but like a child I see the diamond in a stone. The idea of making something out of nothing changes our look on reality. A piece of plastic with text printed on it, used for packing a coffee machine or television can resemble a piece of silk. And the lid of a can of tomato puree can look like a ring… Textile poetry drew from a mundane visual language, a significant reminder of the overwhelming amount of foam which would otherwise be lying in landfills instead of presenting things of beauty.”
Sonja Braas’s ‘The Passage’ – minimalist landscape of frozen moments as a journey through fictitious space to depict time as a subjective dimension depending on the viewer.
„Through the gradual realization, that the images do not meet the expectation of authenticity and the resulting dissolution of the illusion of a chronological flow, assuredness in defining a position in time and space is replaced by assumption and interpretation. Space and time become abstractions that are no longer independent from the viewer, but are on the contrary completely based on the viewer’s perception.”
Sonja Braas – The Passage
“The chronological succession is implied by the continuously changing sky and the change of source and intensity of the light: a temporary, “seasonal”, gradual darkening from nearly blinding daylight to almost absolute darkness that only the light of the moon and the stars interrupts. Changes in the landscape lead to the perception of movement. It is not a directed movement: the last image connects to the first, perhaps one arrives at the same location the journey had begun. The implication is that of a loop – the journey might not begin or end but repeat itself.”
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew’s series ‘An Indian from India’ – diptychs combining archival images from the 19th and early 20th century of Native Americans with her self-portraits, to challenge the legacies of colonial pasts of more than 500 years and exploring the ‘otherness’ of identity.
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew – An Indian from India
“As an immigrant, I am often questioned about where I am “really from.” When I say that I am Indian, I often have to clarify that I am an Indian from India. It seems strange that all this confusion started because Christopher Columbus thought he had found the Indies and called the native people of America collectively as Indians.”
With themes like assimilation and assumptions about minorities, and titles ‘Red Indian’ / ’Brown Indian’ or ‘Noble Savage / ‘Savage Noble’, the confusion is not only around the word “Indian” but has deeper roots in stereotypes of the notion of ‘primitive natives’ and races relations.
“We wish to surround ourselves by places and people that bring out the core of humanity, brings us back to our natural roots, to aim for a state of being in which the boundary between our cultures and backgrounds seems to blur.”