The photographs are "still lives" set up as contemporary interpretation of vanitas in the Dutch/Flemish tradition, referencing the futility of life and the transient nature of earthly goods and pursuits. They represent not only "still" moments of the life of the photographed, but also of the artist, to whom the books and the everyday objects belong.
By juxtaposing mundane objects with specific texts, the artwork challenges the dichotomy of exposed and obscured, and contests the boundaries between experience and memory. Through time, often emotions become objectified and different interpretations develop.
Via retakes and thematic variations, each piece examines the questions raised by appearance of certain images and symbols in the visual and cultural contexts. This approach aims also to increase the dynamic and create a dialogue with the audience.
"And indeed there will be time For the yellow smoke that slides along the street Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; There will be time, there will be time"
- from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot
Time present and time
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
- from Burnt
Norton, T.S. Eliot
To document my daily commute to work, I take cell-phone
photographs from the platform of the subway.Often, these images show the continual decay of the stations, the stages
of damages underneath fresh coats of paints, and the marks left by the workers
signaling their tasks.Coincidentally,
years earlier my mother was keeping a journal, in the form of photographic
slides, of her walks to and from school, of the sights she saw, the people she
encountered, when she was a student in Paris.Afterwards, as my mother focused on her
career, the slides languished in a drawer and were never shown.
The artworks in this on-going series, Subway/Paris, close
the distance in time and localities and combine both of our droning routines
and Sisyphean efforts.The involved
processes in the creation of the individual pieces further echo the repetitive
manner in which we live each day and strive to move forward.
Time Trilogy =
Part 1) Subway/Paris (see also, http://www.atylprojects.daportfolio.com/gallery/779414)
Part 2) Sovegna Vos (Be Mindful)
Part 3) The Great Composer
Selectively redacted regulations and court decisions, found historical immigration documents altered, faces in old photographs cut out or covered up – these are the motifs of the artwork in this series. “Sovegna Vos” – Be mindful – are words from Dante’s Purgatory, and used in T.S. Eliot’s poem, “Ash Wednesday”.Multi-layered, the work is about addressing one’s experiences and transcending them with new constructions, and recovery, and need for grace.
The artwork investigates conventions and cultural traditions vis-à-vis time, and challenges the binaries we re/construct between Self and Other.Each piece questions the conditions of appearance of an image, its context and tensions implicated below the surface, and the possibilities achievable through subversion.
"Because I know
that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place"