R P N U N Y E Z
D O C U M E N T A R Y P H O T O G R A P H Y
F11 FULL SCREEN
We can differentiate ourselves by race, color, language, wealth and politics; But consider what we have in common: dreams, laughter, tears, pride, the comfort of a home and the desire to love. If I could photograph these universal truths ...
PHOTOGRAPHY AND ME. I DON'T PHOTOGRAPH WHAT I SEE BUT WHAT I AM.
I thought that, with time, all the questions I have been asking myself for years about my relationship with photography would be resolved.
To give evidence of a world in continuous change?, To provoke feelings?, Poke around in the consciences?, Hedonistic exercise? Selfish Utilitarianism?, Memory sustenance?
Far from it, a multitude of possible answers remain open and amalgamate within me in an indissoluble and at the same time changing whole.
Doing photography: a crude attempt to usurp from Life infinitesimal parts of its Time - that merciless God - to recompose them in whimsical combinations of light and shadow, creating illusory windows to the outside world but also to the inside.
I hardly ever photograph objects, monuments or landscapes, which, if anything, are mere decorations accompanying a single protagonist: the human being, with his strengths and miseries, with his yearnings and frustrations, with his laughter and tears.
And I can't remember a single one of my photographs in which, at the moment of shooting, I have not been accompanied by the deep conviction that only chance or even time are the single reason why I’m not that old man from a remote tribe, that devotee in ecstasy inside a madrassa, that beggar sheltering from the rain under the tin or that nouveau riche who disdains everything that doesn't concern him in the first person. I do not photograph what I see but what I am.
I never think of my photographs as art objects or consumer items, they have nothing to do with ephemerality either. I think of them as tools at the service of a simple idea so masterfully summarized by Wayne Miller: the universal truths of being human.
I firmly believe that the value of a photograph is shared, at least in equal parts, between the photographer and his models, who tolerate and accept his presence, who endure on many occasions his intrusion and insolence, and who in the end, converted into paper and unaware of the passage of time, allow themselves to be observed, returning to us, like mirrors, some unknown part of ourselves.
MY PHOTOGRAPHS AND ME : UNDRESSING THE WORLD.
The BN / COLOR dilemma is recurrent in me and from time to time it comes back to my mind as if I had never solved it.
There was a time when I came to suspect, with some discomfort, that continuing to print in black and white was simply a product of the inertia of a recent analog past (those days of the Tri X 400!). But, as so often happens, things are not so simple.
Someone has established a very accurate parallelism between color photography and prose, and between black and white photography and poetry. Indeed, while color photography -like prose- floods my brain with huge amounts of chromatic information, black and white photography -like poetry- devoid of its kindly mask, shows the quintessence of the moment, addressing, when I contemplate it, directly to the heart.
Black and white. Yes, it's just a name, but a painfully reductionist name.
Beyond the scientific theories about color and how we perceive it, but without disdaining them, when I photograph I imagine things dressed in an infinity of color layers.
I imagine the world hidden under those layers -that immense palette of chromatic colors- that distract my brain and hide from me the elusive essence of things. An essence that I am only able to grasp when I snatch them away, letting the shapes, in their full nakedness of grays, show themselves in all their splendor.
Gray - which is not really a color as such and is rarely seen in a natural way - is, with all its infinity nuances, the skin of a naked world in which shapes acquire the prominence they deserve.
Shapes bathed by white light or caressed by its absence, shapes redrawn by the delicate transitions between them, the grays, which are the foundations on which I build my photographs.
I build my photographs by undressing the world, looking for the skin of the world.