ALEJANDRO CASTELLOTE. CONTEMPORARY USAGES
The contemporary culture’s –particularly its visual expressions’- highest aspiration has not been the art anymore for already a few years. Making a reductionism exercise, we could say that the objective leads to communication. A concept where art can live as re-rented, but absolutely it is not its only guest.
There we can find the vernacular photography rescued from relatives’ or local files that modifies its document status with the addition of a time layer and, consequently a history layer, which is susceptible of habiting museums as well. Those images do not only have mere information, they include collective and individual semantic memory. But this was not its original intention. In fact, it is about a covered revision of art history, and especially photography history, which has created an endogamous bubble where everything happens according to the techniques, styles and topics. Where is the political and social context?
GETXOPHOTO’s first edition presents simultaneously some of the visual materials’ contemporary usages: the social revaluing of vernacular photography files, the critical reflection about historical periods where violence has perverted the social relationships –I am talking about Peru-; the access to the self-representation by marginal collectives that have traditionally been subjected to visual stereotypes and from the other side: how we look at those societies considered as “exotic” or how we look at our neighbors; finally, some pictures that usually appear in the contemporary art museums’ collections in their condition of “almost” unique pieces, are reproduced in materials that leave them without their object value to focus attention to their communicative capacity. The decision of including all these modalities into a category as reductive as art’s is voluntarily left aside.
The releasing of pictures to the street is not the discovering of anything new, people have been doing it for ages on advertisements mediums and, since technology enables it, photography samples are abundant on public places or on those reserved for advertisement. Estimating this presence as something derived from new technologies is as simple and inexact as linking Robert Capa’s presence in the Spanish civil war to the versatility that offered the universal little Leicas cameras. Going out the museum is not only a dedramatization of their status but it also implies the critical reconsideration of these spots, nowadays elitist ones, that appeared with the aim of offering the citizens a place where enjoying art. a way that may be close to demagogy, we are facing a democratization process. A well-known concept by photography and by its historians, officials and apocrypha. The democratization of images, thanks to cameras for amateurs and professional laboratories, implied during the second half of the 20th century a substantial change in the behaviors and social rites.Authors 2007Gallery 2007