Vuelo del Ángel
The flight of the angel
Before dawn, sunlight does not show most of its color spectrum. The yellow and magenta are not yet present, the reflection of these ranges on the vault remains and with a bluish light and without contrast, the human eye perceives the objects with their attenuated volumes.
Before dawn, man’s constructions show only part of his volumes and accents. The Rinzai Zen Buddhist school suggests that it is time to seat, breath and observe. The buildings do not yet show the projections of those who conceived them, those who thought them, those who imagined and realized them. They still do not show their history and it is difficult to recognize what others thought and said about them. At those hours of light, the vision is not detailed. Recognition does not happen instantly. It is necessary to observe in order to recognize their volumes, part of their details. It is time for their essence to be revealed to us, before the sunlight shows the details, the particularities. The character that makes them so different from each other.
After dawn they return to their appearance, they regain their appearance by reflecting back the full spectrum of sunlight. The details will come back to the foreground and again we will be seduced and amazed.
At nightfall and before dawn we are offered the possibility of escaping the seduction of appearances. We will have the possibility to see in the shadows.
The giant Buddha of Long Men closes his eyes to illusion as he sits in his lotus position. If we look at this image we can find some clues about the uses of photography and their responsibility in the construction of our description of the world and the knowledge/unknowledge of it.
The access to the Forbidden City and to the Church of Saint Peter are traversed by crowds, who go to these places without a doubt. Unquestionable icons have been described with their attributes to satiety, and we have internalized the descriptions as part of ourselves. It is not easy to recognize a personal experience that differs from that which has been offered to us during our years of access to knowledge through long training processes: The school years.
The Gothic cathedrals today welcome pilgrims on sightseeing tours: cultural tourism and spiritual tourism. There is a new description that homogenizes these buildings. Above their singularity there is a description that makes no distinctions, that equals them in the catalogue of the pieces that one can know, the catalogue of the wonders of the world, to which one can have access in an organised trip and/or through their substitutes, simulations and also through photography.
The buildings represented in these photographs carry conditions as spaces of power and spirituality, and are used as symbols of identity; as differential characteristics. The photographs, which in turn are the register of these buildings, lack these attributes, but allow us to relate to the pre-existing attributes and images of these monuments that we have internalized. They allow us to relate to our own ideology.
The photographs have been taken following patterns of representation established in the origins of photography, which establish orthodoxy in the ways of generating a photographic document referring to a scene with a building/monument. The scene is photographed from its central axis and the horizon tends to be two thirds or three quarters high. This requires complex displacements when the axis of the building is at considerable heights. In this sense the position of the camera and the photographer are described as in the flight of an angel.
The choice of building substitutes as objects to be photographed manifests the desire to formulate alerts in complicity with the viewer, to point out other options for our perception of the real and our ability to discern and separate reality, discourse and belief from our own experience.
The photographs in this exhibition refer primarily to constructions and icons, recognizable by almost all cultures. Secondly to our ways of acquiring knowledge. In third instance to the perception of our spiritual dimension through observation.
It ultimately refers to the exercise of observing the buildings before dawn and allow them to show themselves to us without artifice. Without illusions.