In 2003, Iñaki Bonillas let the vast photographic archive of his grand-father J. R. Plaza enter into his practice, as a continuous source of meditations on photography that often turn to elements that seem a priori incompatible: on the one hand a biographical narrative and on the other a quasi-scientific element of compilation. This time Bonillas has chosen to work with a single image taken from the archive, with the idea of exploring the possibility, not only of creating a new set of images (through juxtaposition, recontextualisation or any other way of reinterpretating the original source), but of creating a whole new archive. More than the mere flexibility of images, the purpose then is to show how images are capable of giving birth to distinct visual realms. The image at issue is a portrait of the great-grandfather of the artist that shows the remains of an old grid, once traced with the aid of a pencil all over the picture, with the intention of making a copy. This given partition allows the artist to work with 104 images instead of just one: 104 elements that are not just fragments of a bigger image, but images in their own rights, ready to be used as such. By renouncing the figurativeness of the photograph (the possibility of subject recognition), the artist is able to search for different ways of displaying this new abstract archive. But the images at this point are no longer photographic either (they have become indiscernible), so Bonillas can also work from this neutrality and explore four different techniques and methods, including a 16 mm film and a meticulous graphite drawing. It is important to mention that the original photograph has another peculiarity: it was taken in such a way that a situation of double chiaroscuro takes place, because gradations of background and foreground light intersect. This luminous phenomenon of crossed axes gives the artist the opportunity to work with a richness of grey tones.Exhibition organised in collaboration with the ProjecteSD Gallery in Barcelona.
Exhibition venue: couvent Saint-Césaire.