As a visual artist I’ve found my work in alternative processes (salt prints and gum prints specially) becoming a repetition of common places and subjects. Maybe its part of my learning curve, and the need to evolve from what is basic in terms of concept before to pursue something more daring visually and intellectually.
But I fear that maybe is part of the mainstream I’ve noticed in many of the people who employ these techniques as part of their creative processes.
My bachelor’s degree project was made, half of it, employing salt prints. But was a bet to something different (I hope so) than the simple repetition of a ninth century set of techniques. My bet was to express my thoughts about the role of be a man in my culture and for that I used analogical and digital processes. After that I think I’ve been chasing my tail and in the pursuit of perfect the technique I’ve lost my hunger to explore.
That led me to ask myself why there’s such few artists -that I know, maybe is just my ignorance- which employ classic techniques to explore new subjects or approaches in visual terms to what means to create images.
I’ve seen really few abstractions, surreal explorations or post-modern approaches employing that beloved techniques. There’s a bunch of farms, countryside landscapes and classical portraits. That’s off course great, are so many beautiful works, but the question is why as artists more of us don’t run risks and take the tools (thats what digital, analogical, classical, edgy; processes and cameras are, merely tools) to the very limits and expand it beyond what have been done with they so far.
I make the question in plural but the question is deeply rooted in my own work. Why I’ve become so attached to the old practices and I am condemning the techniques to become simply nostalgic emulators of the past?.
I hope that my new, that’s relative of course, works with double exposures will be the seed to the expansion of my artistic horizons once again. To broad the spectrum of my explorations have been the goal behind a lot of my work almost since it beginnings, for that reason have been so frustrating to find myself only walking other’s steps these last months.
I’ve always be proud of emulate and follow other’s steps but only as an initial stage for my own walk and the pursuit of my personal pathway.
There’s a whole universe from this….
No one is better than the other but the first is more my kind of exploration, is full os uncertain aesthetical values and is a more interesting visual challenge.
As Dubois says the photography is a compulsive act of repetition and there’s nothing wrong in repeat techniques, photographs, ideas or whatever do you want. The lack of an artistic proposal behind my work at this point is what really bore me, not the repetition of themes, tecniques or approaches.