YOU WERE THERE
‘You were there’ is a series of unique photographic experimentations taking place in the darkroom. I created this series of work based on one image taken in 2019 while I was going through a very sad break-up. I was heartbroken, encumbered with many recently developed photo negatives containing all my memories from a trip along route 40 in Patagonia, Argentina. I found quiet solace in the darkroom, alone in contemplation in the dark, processing my loss. Someone who was right there next to me, was now gone. The image had changed its meaning, these negatives were just leftovers already altered in my mind’s eye and I felt compelled to express this. Left with physical proof of the moments I had experienced, in an attempt to redefine the photographic medium in a world dominated by perfect images, immaterial and meaningless, I chose to combine traditional photographic techniques with spontaneous alterations, which, along with the series’ title, imply a narrative that goes beyond the depicted landscape.
I was obsessed with him as much as I was obsessed with this image/moment. I exposed the negative to light multiple times during a long period, whilst moving with my hands the paper in the dark as the light hits it. As a memory trying to escape from my mind, the image tries to escape from the constraints of the paper. The exercise of freely moving the paper in the dark allowed the image to find each time a unique way to settle, sometimes catching the light reflected by the enlarger timer, creating subtle cyan and magenta marks. Each print is a different result, repeatedly recording the same moment from the past whilst imprinting the reality of the present.
This repetition is intentional, a metaphorical treatise to the beauty of the pain of heartache and the loss of a relationship. The image transcends the visual, abstract record, questioning the relationship between image-meaning-materiality and the impact this materiality has on both the viewer’s perception and on the image itself.