juan alonso

POLICE SKETCHES

Cliché verre (Gelatin silver print based on hand made negatives), 50 x 60 cms., 2006

The Project poses a question on photography as a construction of reality.

In its beginnings photography was perceived as analogous to reality given the strong visual similarity between the two of them. Although it is usually considered that this relation was weakened by the emergence of digital technology where great manipulation of that very same idea of reality is present, the truth of the matter is that photography has always been a construction, an interpretation and a codification of reality. Marshall McLuhan brings the idea that certain native tribes must learn to read the images as we learn to read from written texts.  Along this line, even if it is true that there is a direct relationship between the light and the silver halides, the resulting image comes from a series of constructed codes that vary and build a remote duplicate of its original referent. It is so that the photographies that constitute this project start out from negatives drawn by hand with a radiograph and Indian ink, thus making evident the same construction of image by means of small units that generate the splendid realist mosaic called “photography”. These negatives are then amplified in the laboratory to allow the process of light projection on a photosensitive support.

The Project is centered in the portrait since in it is not solely present the construction of reality but also the construction of identity.

In the spoken portraits used by the police what is sought is to obtain an identity based on the interpretation made by the draftsman makes out from the description of reality made by a witness.

In photography the process is similar. We also build, using a camera, an identity from the codification of that identity made by a machine created by men.

Finally, in this Project the negative comes to be part of the work since it is a drawing and not only a matrix.

The Project has been shown at “"ARTBO 2006. II International Art Fair of Bogota ", Corferias (2006), and at the "5a Biennial 2006. 19th Colombian Hall of Photography”, in the Suramericana Art Hall, Medellín (2006)