By Nicolas Mavrikakis
SBC galerie d’art contemporain, Montréal
4.11.2021 — 18.12.2021
Whatever one might do or say, many people continue to see photography as having an aura of truth. Its authoritative status with regard to the potential to capture reality, a historical construction inherited from the nineteenth century, is a persistent cliché. Theoreticians of the image, teachers, and the mainstream media would all do well to warn against the effects of realism in the photographic image, but no one does; the tenacious idea that photographs show reality continues its ravaging effects of bolstering credulity. And yet we know that politicians of all stripes have manipulated, and still manipulate, photographs. We also know how the advertising world distorts images. And we are all aware that such tampering is even easier with computers. Will photographs finally be the thing that reveals people’s credulity – spectators as easy to fool as those who viewed Zeuxis’s birds in ancient Greece?
In this context – which is worth a broader discussion – Luther Konadu’s exhibition Portraiture en gestuelles, organized by curator Nasrin Himada, delicately raised the persistence and, especially, the surprising fragility of the photographic lie. On the walls of the SBC exhibition centre, his series of photographs, arranged as an installation that took possession of the entire space, often showed the same people. These sequences of images encouraged visitors to look for the difference – one might even say the error. Each picture was just a bit different, due to minimally displaced shooting angles and moments that were a touch divergent, barely gapped in time. For Konadu, one picture is not enough…
Translated by Käthe Roth
[ Complete issue, in print and digital version, available here: Ciel variable 120 – FIGURES OF AFFIRMATION ]
[ Complete article and more images, in digital version, available here: Luther Konadu, Portraiture en gestuelles — Nicolas Mavrikakis ]