In the book: The photographic act, Phillippe Dubois writes:
“La compulsión a la repetición es algo esencial al acto fotográfico; no se toma una foto, sino por frustración; se toma siempre una serie —ametrallamos primero, seleccionamos después—; sólo produce satisfacción fotografiar a ese precio; repetir no tal o cual sujeto, sino repetir la toma de ese sujeto, repetir el acto mismo, recomenzar siempre, recomenzar eso, como en la pasión del juego o en el acto sexual: no poder dejar de dar ese golpe. (…) En fotografía todo es cosa de golpe por golpe. Es la lógica del acto: local, transitoria, singular. Siempre rehecha, la foto, en su principio, es del orden del performativo, en la acepción lingüística de la palabra (cuando decir es hacer) tanto como en su significación artística (la «performance»). ” Page 142, spanish version.
“The repetitive compulsion is essential to the photographic act, we do not take a picture, but by frustration always take a series we shoot first, select later- and we find satisfaction in take photographs to that price; to repeat not this or that subject, but repeat the capture of that subject, repeat the act itself, always restart, restart it, and in the passion of the game or the sexual act: can’t stop giving that blow. (…) In photography everything is about blow by blow. It is the logic of the act: local, transient, singular. Always remade, the photo, in it’s principle, is of the order of the performative acts, in the linguistic sense of the word (when say that is to do that) as well as in its artistic significance (the “performance”).”
I read that text at the same time that I was reading On photography by Susan Sontag and the sexual reference really hit me, because I believe there’s true in the idea of the photograph like an invasion, a penetration of the vital space of others. And also the idea of compulsion, of some kind of instinct behind the need of capture and freeze the light. Every time I see the contact sheets of great photographers that compulsion is evident. A lot of captures of the same subject/object, a series of almost obsessive shoots and captures which will be selected afterwards.
The contact photography don’t bring that option, every photogram is unique, a lonely almost endemic act in which the capture is not compulsive but slow even distant.
But, I’m an obsessive person, it’s part of my charm, I like to think. And the idea of the capture is simply part of my creative process. I always come back to the same images and concepts, even expand it or twisting it, but in the bottom of it are the same.
A post of Jhon Neel in the Alternative Photography group of Facebook (amazing place to hang out and learn and know great artists), gave me the courage to post some of my experiments.
I make lumen prints and then the compulsion begins, after scan it I need to experiment with the digital files in my computer. I love to see what else can I obtain of the digital images, what have brought the scanner to each one of it.
There’s another example of that compulsive act but around a theme. I love typologies and collections of objects. That was the genesis of this other photo project: Cathexis.
These are a few of those editions, with each series I’ve included also the “original” scan, the idea of original is a topic to explore in other post or maybe a hundred of it.