Verzasca Foto Festival Awards - 2019 Nera Prize
Solange Adum Abdala
The conversion of the trace
2018-work in progress. Cromogenic print intervened by bleach and inks
The photographic and engraving process that is presented in the project "The conversion of the trace" starts with 120mm photographs copied in chromogenic support (analog and chemical process). When the photographic copies are already dry, they are intervened with bleach. This liquid exerts a remover power on the silver halides and the color copulants that conform the photographic image, thus the bleach will detach the chemical components from its rigid support in a fortuitous way. Then these blank or washed spaces are replaced by pigments (chinese ink and acrylic). Subsequently, some of these intervened images are engraved with a pressure print of the same wet image on cardboard, formed as diptychs.
The purpose of this process is to be able to transmute the tangible perception of nature that is done through the objectivity of a photographic camera, and to be able to intervene the photographic image by altering its own essential components, both morphological and formal. It is so in "The conversion of the trace", it opens the possibility of altering the materiality of the photographs through the destruction of their own components. Moving away from its traditional role of representing reality in a graphic way and abstracting the forms that the image contains. A thinner line is created between photography and painting that have been compared and cataloged in the history of modern and contemporary art.
The bleach composed by alkaline salts and chlorine is corrosive and transparent, manages to be destructive and silent on the photographic image. The bleach disinfects, for that we use it, to remove dirtiness, to forget situations and to start "blank" and from scratch. With "nothingness" generated by the cleansing power of bleach, it is possible to create a new opportunity for the landscape, which, in the images of "The conversion of the trace", emerges surreal, full of color and at the same time sinister.
In the case of the images formed by diptychs, a new window is opened, the imprint takes with it both pigment (chinese ink and acrylic) as well as the silver halides and color copulants of the chromogenic copy. Thus, this new image also carries photosensitive material, it also carries the raw material, the corporeal essence of the photograph itself, revealing a third interpretation of the photographed landscape.