Absence Reminders is an installation, consisting of 36 photographs (the number of shots that a 35mm roll allows), cut by 36 thick iron stands and 36 obsidian stones. The set is arranged at the eye level and the stones interpose between the viewer and the image, or between the one who is present and what is pictured.
The images show one of the windows of the house the artist grew up. From the inside out, one looks at the luminosity of the outer space. Contrary to that; from outside to inside, the stones draw attention to their dark body, referring us to an inner place.

On ancient Mesoamerican cultures, obsidian stones were used for the making of black mirrors - instruments used for divinatory practices, where one was allowed to look inwards (into the unconscious) and hence to a forthcoming time.
On one hand the image of the window sends us outwards for a past time, on the other hand the presence of the stone sends us inwards for a future time. So, while the image refers to something concrete, which assumes itself as memory, the stone is linked to something speculative, which assumes itself as matter.
Both elements, window and stone, are boundary entities, or points of connection between two distinct states. But between past and future, representation and object, or fact and illusion, there is a dense and complex relationship that does not appears directly or linearly.

In the sequence of the thirty-six images, which look like a long-legged thread, from left to right, the true movement stems from the deep overlapping of each.
It is a question of promoting a crossing that mixes dichotomies and problematizes reality.”

Sérgio Fazenda Rodrigues, 2018  (Revista Contemporânea - ed.01|2018)

Absence Reminders, 2017

Inkjet print on cotton paper 320gr, iron, obsidian
(36) 20 x 27 cm

Installation view, ‘anozero’17’ Biennial, Coimbra

Photo Henrique Pavão

© 2023 Henrique Pavão