Sunday Preview. Stories we feature next week
The fourth week of stories invites us to submerge ourselves into the invisible, symbolic and intimate depths behind what most of us see in everyday life.
Three authors show their vision of relationships between the photographer, or human beings overall, and reality through their images. They either question social and political issues, traces and impact of society on the environment, or reveal very personal and intimate matters like a deep emotional connection between a parent and a newborn child.
All three stories are examples of visual language and its limitless power to convey meanings, perceptions and feelings. This is photography.
Paco Poyato: The Invisible Wall
Published — Monday, 20 Sept
Paco Poyato’s body of work brings us back a few decades to the times when the Berlin Wall divided Berlin and, subsequently, Germany into two parts — East and West.
The Invisible Wall, however, does not present us with historical and archival photographs. It comprises contemporary images taken around the German capital with the aim to trace the remnants of the Wall — not so much the physical remains but its symbolic power.
Today the physical Wall does not exist, but there is an invisible one that continues to divide the country, and it can be measured in wages, infrastructure, education, unemployment; political and economic differences that tips the balance in favor of the West.
The Invisible Wall is a poignantly political work that poses many questions. It displays modern-day Berlin - people, places, structures - and the effects, both physical and psychological, that the Berlin Wall once had and continues to have on people.
Shervine Nafissi: Noora
Published — Wednesday, 22 Sep
A person’s own life ultimately comes to a screeching halt when their child is born. Once a tiny human begins to occupy a large chunk of your heart and day, you, as a photographer, would turn your lens to them. This is exactly what Shervine Nafissi did after he made a drastic shift from the legal world of law to the slightly less rational one of photography.
Nafissi’s images are subtly muted in color, almost dream-like, and painterly in their aesthetics. There is a sense of intimacy but at the same time careful privacy as the child’s face is not directly revealed, instead, the photographer has opted for a more incognito approach, which is a breath of fresh and calming air.
For the artist, this project is about documenting the birth of his first child. Is it a report on his experience as a father or a report on the evolution of his daughter? No one knows. Shervine Nafissi simply wanted to intertwine two loves, the unconditional one for Noora and the passionate one for photography.
This series is in constant evolution. It shows the link between the Father and the Daughter. It is a puzzle portrait, where we no longer know who is the main actor: the photographer or his tiny muse?
Karin van de Wiel: Presence in the Absence
Published — Friday, 24 Sep
Karin van de Wiel’s Presence in the Absence takes desolated buildings and structures as its starting point. Devoid of human presence, albeit designed and constructed by humans, these are places that were once the product of a utopian vision.
The pictures are full of nostalgia and a sense of belonging or lack thereof is perhaps more accurately put. In the words of the photographer, the places are signifiers of “failure, loss, disorder and chaos”. The images depict a combination of steel, glass, concrete and grass; a thought-provoking juxtaposition between natural and man-made structures living in symbiosis. These are the remnants of what once were good intentions but now end up cluttering our environment and being almost useless.
In my work you can find an overarching narrative connecting displaced spaces with non-binary attributes and allegorical queerness. That connection opens the door to a more universal awareness of what remained largely stigmatized and tabooed position until only fairly recent.
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