Bruno V. Roels - Trying To Make It Real Part 1 & 2

ISBN number: 9789464002041
Availability: In stock (231)

All prints have value: Instead of fussing over making the perfect gelatin silver print, for example, Bruno V. Roels realized that all printed versions of an image have value, and he decided to not show that one perfect print, but all of them, in one composition. Some of his compositions consist of hundreds variations of one single negative, all printed in the dark room. Photography is a mimetic art, it imitates life. But Roels pushes it further: when printing variants of one image; he creates a mimetic feedback loop. He uses the iconic image of a palm tree to prove his point. All palm trees look alike, and as a symbol the plants are highly recognizable. Because palm trees are so widely recognizable, he’s free to deconstruct his own notions of photography, while trying to get away from the “tyranny of camera viewfinders and rectangular boxes of enlarging papers”.


“I think images are worth repeating.”

Bringing many years of work together in a single place, here on the page, rather than on the walls of a museum or gallery, we can consider both senses in which Roels thinks images are worth repeating. In the obstinate and dedicated labour of printing and arranging serial, but different, versions of single images together; and then also with regard to the overall effect of bringing these iterations of themselves into the same space. But there is another sense in which we might find Roels’s work echoing not only itself, but that of those that came before him; and that, funnily enough, is in his refusal to take himself, or his work, too seriously. Just seriously enough, it seems, to invest time, effort, and skill into the production of his complex and subtly nuanced work, but never to the point, that, like Ruscha before him, (the artist who made Various Small Fires and Milk), he finds himself unable to resist, and more importantly, to play with, the constraints of his own logic. A little like Dalí too, perhaps, who, captivated as he was by the potential of photography to document and catalogue the world, was also sure that this very capacity would result in us never being able to see anything in the same way, ever again. From ‘the subtlety of aquaria’ as Dalí himself put it ’to the fastest most fleeting gestures of wild animals, the photograph affords us a thousand fragmentary images culminating in a dramatized cognitive totalization.’ That too, is something worth repeating.

–Simon Baker

Binding : Paperback
Size: 220 x 300 mm
Weight: 1400 gr
Language: FR / EN
Number of pages: 336
ISBN: 9789464002041
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