Y SIN EMBARGO magazine

Avatares de la vida. Ninots de UU, Miguel Ruibal, fernandoprats, Nirvana SQ, Leonie Polah, Brancolina, Thomas Hagström, Anna Christina, Thierry Tillier, Ezequiel Ruiz

Seven years of a periodical and independent publication is perhaps both necessary and long enough a time to verify or put into practice a set of ideas, wishes and adventures. YSE closes a cycle, but doesn’t close (neither literally nor metaforically). Seguiremos, pero seremos otros.

On air: YSE #29, LAST/s.

making sense of social networks: a (short) photographic journey, françoise lucas & wilma eras: yse #24


FL: In a world where it is sometimes difficult to find a place to call home, networks fill the gap, and so does photography.
Photography offers boundaries. It offers the space of the frame, or the space beyond it. It offers rules, elements you can hold on to in order to make sense of the world we live in.

WE: Interesting to say that photography offers something to hold on to, perhaps that’s the reason why it is so immensely popular. Just like social networks which seem to have taken over the roles of church and family. It is a place to feel at home with people who are looking at the world the same way as you do. History is also something people have been interested in the last few years. Are they looking for traces of the past in order to hold on to the (uncertain) present?

FL: In the trace(1), you can sense the mark of the past, and of the future.
In photography traces are often achieved through a selective focus, which draws your attention to the trace.
But what is a trace? In the trace, in the marks in focus, you could see the impossibility of the present. The present escapes at the very moment of looking. While looking at the trace in a photograph in the present, you are invited to make sense. And making sense implies a moment of imagining a glimpse of a story, which is made up again and again at every glance. But every glance (in the present) signifies looking at the future as well, a future marked by the past involved in the trace left behind.

FL: Colour is one of the elements of photography. Colour can offer a space to get lost in or to hold on to.
Looking at our two blue photographs, I notice the blue colour right away. Blue is the colour that brings our two photographs together. Furthermore, In Nerve, the traces are marked in the wood. They are produced by a physical cause. They are physically carved in by weather and time. I read the violence of the weather, and of the past in them. In Dust, I read traces of culture, knowledge. These traces are also framed as in a museum.

WE: You can also find traces of time by looking at the dust gathered on the glass and – beyond the frame – at the exposed objects from the past.

FL: In the photographs traces are on display. They are indexical signs of something that does not exist anymore. They are vestiges of a cause that is not longer present(2). The two photographs, however, provide a space in which you can invest your creativity and imagination. They provide a space to exchange thoughts in order to make sense.
Publishing on the internet is in that sense a way to leave a trace of past events. But it is also a way to look at each other’s traces, to exchange traces in order to construct a chain of events that connects people in the present of being online, and to share with one another a glimpse of past events in the present of a brief encounter.

WE: Sometimes this exchange also leads to a bigger insight into our own work and the work of the others by reacting to the work of one another in words, and in temporarily ‘borrowing the photographic eye’ of a photographer one favours.
Many writers have learned the profession by imitating the style of writers they admire. In this process of ‘imitatio’, looking with the eyes of the other allows you to know his or her work very well. Not with the intention to write in the same style, but to investigate your own position, to discover your own style and to become a better writer.
These encounters with people, whose work we admire and from whom we learn to become a better writer, or a better photographer at that matter, makes it worth-while to participate in networks. That is because together we make sense.

Moving to the two red photographs, colour is again at first glance, the connection that allows us to wander through them. Looking closer, the two photographs seem to be mirroring each other or rather echoing each other. As such, they offer us a space to reflect (visually) and to speak (textually and visually).

On the visual level, both photographs show dark spaces. In Sound, I notice a diagonal line, and a square space to the right. In Echo, there is a dark space in the middle, which is invaded by a blurred trace of the photographed object. Both photographs are echoes of each other. Not only because they are both red. But because of the traces of the mirrors they are figurating

On the textual level, one can hear a story, the story of Echo. In the mythological story Echo is nothing but voice. Her voice repeats endlessly the endings of all our sentences. She has to echo everyone who speaks. But her performance is rather chance than choice. She repeats endlessly everyone’s traces all over the world(3). So does internet. Repeating endlessly, differing and deferring, the echoing voices we encounter every day(4).

1 I am referring to Jacques Derrida’s concept of the trace. (Derrida, Jacques : Of Grammatology, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1967, 1997, Translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak)

2 See also the reading of the work of the Dutch artist Armando, by Ernst van Alphen. (Alphen, Ernst van: Caught by History, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1997)

3 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s essay, Echo, provides a striking insight in the power of Echo. See “Echo” in The Spivak Reader, edited by Donna Landry and Gerald Maclean, New York, Roudledge, 1995.

4 About the photographs: We have selected these four works for this article in this way:
Françoise has selected ‘Nerves’ and Wilma reacted with ‘Dust. Wilma proposed ‘Sound’ and Françoise reacted with ‘Echo’.

Por Françoise Lucas & Wilma Eras para YSE #24