Sunday, October 31, 2010

Risa Morales presents Idris Khan VS. Pep Ventosa (Part I)

That's right.  Not just one photographer, but two this time.  After seeing their photographs, you'll understand why I state them as "vs." and examine them together.

Today, we look at Idris Kahn's "every..." series

Idris Khan I found while leafing through the reGeneration photography book. Khan takes multiple images and layers them digitally, playing with the opacity.  Doing so he hopes to obscure the original meanings inherent in each image/object, while bringing out new ones that arise when the images are combined.  The images he uses are travel photos, photos by other photographers, and photos of famous books.  He gets inspiration (and nabs images) from Caravaggio, Muybridge, the Betchers, and others.
 These two images are compilations of Bernd and Hilla Betcher's Wasserturme (watertower)series.
The following image is Chopin's Nocturnes for the piano:
This one is "every... page of the Koran":

The somewhat ghostly quality of the layered images is great, I love that stuff.  That fact that he is reinterpreting pre-existing things leaves me with mixed feelings.  Part of me loves that he's taking something solid, something recognized (and in some cases, revered) and making it more ethereal by showing all aspects of it at once.  Part of me wants him to have done it all himself.  What I mean by that, is to go and take the photos of the water-towers, or to go and write out the bars of music himself before photographing them all... to take images that he created and layer them, further cementing his appropriation of the object in question.  Yes, it's a lot of work to do those things... but this work is all about the concept in the first place, so why should he let the fact that it's extra work keep him from really cinching the deal?

(Part II: Pep Ventosa coming soon!)

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