At the invitation of Claudia Retegan from 2/3 galeria in Bucharest, I spent a week in an artistic residency-type setup in the gallery space, carrying out a project inspired by Walter Benjamin’s seminal text, The Work of Art in the Age of its Technical Reproducibility. The public was invited to freely come by at any time, see me at work and discover the project evolve through stages usually closed within the artist studio.
While the gallery’s focus is photography, my practice approaches this medium both as a speculative tool to objectify certain perspectives of reality and investigate how it can change through optical instrumentation (and, in this particular case, tactile conversion), and as a cinematographic element through seriality.
By revisiting Benjamin’s book, beyond the theories surrounding multiplication and the technical image, I stopped on a discreet but omnipresent component: the idea of time, timing, (re)temporalisation. I opened a dialogue between the digital and the analogue, in an attempt to analyse approaches that have the potential to overturn our preconceptions about how we navigate time, physical space and, of course, how we relate to photography as a tool for recording reality or to film, as a transporting mechanism into a new narrative space-time.
During the time spent in residence, I invited the public to participate in this dialogue – starting from the initial video content (digital) and continuing by separating it, frame by frame, objectifying it by adapting a historical photographic process (cyanotype on glass, a fragile and laborious process) and finding ways to navigate the resulting twists and turns of time – subjective time (my choice, by manipulating the speed of the recomposed video, after scanning the cyanotype glass plates that re-recorded the initially digital images), objective time (in the initial video conditioned by a number of frames per second close to the speed of the eye, and afterwards in the cyanotype plates, which objectify and duplicate, in tangible space, both the initially digital video and the final video digitized) and consensual, pseudo-objective time (as visitors choose how to navigate the physical installation versus the video projected in the same space).
The Blue Room is the third project within the exhibition-residency program A mechanical Copy, whose purpose is to outline differentiated artistic practices and the delimitation of distinct creative processes, organised by 2/3 galeria under a concept by Claudia Retegan.
For four weeks, the space of 2/3 galeria was transformed into a photographic camera and functioned simultaneously as a camera obscura and experiential installation, as an exhibition space and as a creative studio, with 3 artists in residence invited to create artistic works and site specific photographic installations. A mechanical copy questions concepts related to the mechanization of the photographic process, wanting to explore ideas related to uniqueness, original and copy, as well as the mystifications of the photographic image, in a contemporary hyper-digitalized society.