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Martin Becka

DUBAï TRANSMUTATIONS

1 July - 22 September

10H00 - 19H30

With this photo series, Martin Becka interrogates us about our sense of how we organise the present and our hopes for the future. Using photo- graphic processes that date from the invention of photography, he dis- orients the beholder by setting up an illusion of ‘collapsed time’. Dubai, for example, paradise of globalisation, with its monumental architecture and town planning, its reputation as a symbol of modernity, wealth, and success, is projected into a different space-time. Becka shows us the city as if we were looking at it from the perspective of the distant future—a kind of ‘archaeology of the present-day’. The Dubai Transmutations series was made in Spring 2008 using a 40 x 50 cm view camera and waxed paper negatives. The process was invented in 1851 by Le Gray. It is not very suitable for temperatures as high as those in Dubai and involves a method of working quite different from gelatin silver print or present-day digital photography. The photographer has to make the negatives at dawn on the day of the shoot and develop them the same evening. The prints, made after returning home, are contact prints on salted paper with gold toning.

Jean-Pierre Quignaux

Prints by the artist.
Framing by Circad, Paris.
Exhibition venue: Atelier de la Mécanique, Parc des Ateliers.