Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Glimpse of Infinity?

Camera Obscura 2005/1-Inf is a worldwide project in which two holes of a twin-holed pinhole camera are being auctioned simultaneously on Ebay every week. This project is dedicated to the polish artist Roman Opalka and his work 1965/1-∞. The highest bidders in each case receive one after the other a pinhole camera loaded with a piece of unexposed sheet of 5x7 Inch b/w film.
There is a sense of global fraternity and timelessness in this project that's appealing. Opałka is a great reference to have - he is an artist I have come to appreciate and there is much to learn from him. One of the things is persistence. Another is discipline. Yet another, choosing the right format. If you get your format right, the work works with you, if not for you.
I'm not convinced that the authors, Przemek Zajfert and Burkhard Walther, figured out the format right. Not that it's bad - it works, and the kaleidoscope of scenes actually starts to develop. The actual photos must be immensely more interesting, with details we can barely figure out or imagine on the net (the quality of the posted pics could be better!). Still, that's just one part of the picture. Another is the question of, well, infinity. Of time. Or rhythm. Or a key of some sort. In this case, there is none. Time is gone, there is no development, and the pictures represent - whatever someone wants them to, plus the usual pinhole surprize. And that's a pity. One could easily imagine a slightly more disciplined version, with a "theme", or some rules that would create a more coherent whole. Otherwise the risk is getting simply too creative.
(Below - images of Opałka's work.)

1 comment:

Lunettes Rouges said...

There will be a great show of Opalka in a few weeks in the city where I was born.
I saw him in the flesh yesterday at the private view of La Force de l'Art in Paris. He is an old man, has been at it for 40 years now. His work fascinates me.


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