“It is not down on any map; true places never are.”
— Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
The series Trespassing explores encounters between human and nature. Human-made objects are placed into a landscape, where their interactions with the natural elements are recorded.
Forces of wind, currents and waves are harnessed and the unfoldings in these encounters are recorded; how nature composes and rearranges these objects. The process involves a large format camera and often long exposures. With this kind of a camera, there is no possibility to see exactly what fills the frame at the moment of exposure. Once the shot has been set up, there is little control over the final image.
Manmade environments are not completely separated from nature‘s realm; they form a complex composition that is in a constant flux. They are so intricately connected that it is almost impossible to tell them apart. When one becomes aware of the presence of nature, it is invariably in extreme situations, in remote areas or during extraordinary weather conditions. On the other hand, human intervention in nature is quite obvious, but equally dramatic.
“False-color” is a technique used in science to visualize different unobservable phenomena. Pictures from telescopes often record wavelengths that are impossible for the human eye to perceive, and thus one “move” or modify these wavelengths for us to see them. This produces quite striking images, but the objectivity of photography can be questioned. We know that these astronomical phenomena do not look the way they are presented, but it would be impossible to observe them otherwise.
I also try to visualize something invisible, but the difference is where science sacrifices objectivity; I sacrifice control of the esthetics. When everything is set up for a photograph, the composition of the introduced elements are decided by the nature‘s forces. The scientific image and the photographic landscape fusion and exchange techniques and procedures.
I also take my cue from the experiments of the French physiologist and pioneer of chronophotography; Étienne-Jules Marey. I am particularly interested in his groundbreaking studies of flow dynamics in which he has photographed smoke trails and water circulating in tanks containing markers (similar to objects that I have been introducing). He was interested in the more positive aspect of the phenomena. When he photographs consecutive positions of an object or animal in motion, he is interested in understanding their system of movement. I am more interested in the turbulent and chaotic forces that are revealed in the aftermath of these experiments.
The title of each individual photograph is simply a list of materials that can be found in (or outside) the frame. They read like a list of components out of which these devices are constructed. The purpose of these objects is to allow for nature‘s gestures to appear. In a sense, they form a background for the play of elemental forces. They are shown, but are not the principal subject matter.
The choice of materials for these interventions is indicative. Using mostly found materials, like rope, old sail-cloth, and nails, which are joined by other, somewhat “lesser” materials like Styrofoam, LED-lights and rubber balloons. These fragments are tracing out a human presence, one that is systematically lacking in these series.