Text

Helicoid, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Vent, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Plinth, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Anchor, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Fallen column, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Hole, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Leg, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Smoke, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Colossus, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Water tower, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Pyramids, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Phantom, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Cement plant, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

W, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Capped I, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Encrust, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Helicoid, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Fold, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Membrane, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Capped II, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Dream, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Steps, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Entrance, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Stilts, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Fluorescence, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Interstice, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Sphere, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

1928, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

In the middle, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Stranded, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Stomach, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Stump, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Concretes, 2016. Silver gelatin print, 24 x 20 in.

Welcome to Paradise (III)

 

This project, curated by José Luis Barrios, comprehends photographs and video pieces about the city and its archetypes in the late modernism of Latin American cities: from the port of Valparaiso, in Chile to the Dry Port of Jalisco, in Mexico; passing through Mexico City, Monterrey, Santiago in Chile, Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, The Plain in Flames of Jalisco, and Navidad Bay.

In the second part of the project Oswaldo Ruiz works in black and white analogue photography to produce the collapse of the archetype onto that which is photographed, to the extent that the latter refers to fundamentally industrial and urban contemporary motifs, and actualizes the primitive drive in the social and political present of the images.

This is the artistic operation in Oswaldo Ruiz’s work that echoes the idea that the past appears as an ash of lightning in the material present of history; a material present that in this case is photography as a critical condition of history in the era of technical reproducibility. Although this is a recent exploration for our photographer, that does not mean that it ceases to be an artistic strategy that shows in itself how he has reflected on and investigated the aesthetic and political potential of his visual poetics.

In principle, the motifs, the type of shot and framing in the photographer’s recent black and white analogue photographs are practically equivalent to those in his color works from a digital matrix.  Nevertheless, what seems suggestive from my perspective is that analogue photography has served him as a series of excuses that have enabled him to explore a radically different register of temporal index in his images.  Perhaps without too much awareness of the inexactness that traditional photography can have at this point, it is by virtue of it that Ruiz recuperates the relationship between past, history and image in his black and white photographs, something that, because it enters into a constellation within the universe of his photographic imaginary, makes his black and white photos function in dialectical tension with those in color.  What this produces in artistic and aesthetic terms is a deconstruction of the photographer’s gaze that posits a sort of archaeological exercise of his images.

If it would seem that today the oneiric space of the image is produced by digital photography, from my perspective, in the work of Oswaldo Ruiz the radical character of critiquing the contemporary photographic dream is found in analogue, black and white photography.  From the negative’s mode of existence to the material relationship between shutter, light and darkness, to the texture of the instant that comes not from paper but rather from the image itself, black and white photography reveals the pathos of the historical time of modernity and contemporaneity: a sort of future anterior that is debated at each moment and in each shot with the power of the future (futurism and science fiction) of digital images, a debate that is explained by the dialectical way of understanding the oneiric potential of each photographic technique.

José Luis Barrios, curator