Students of The Master’s Degree in Ephemeral Architecture and Temporary Spaces and The Master in Photography and Design (2021-22) have conceived the installation Camera Obscura which will be open to visitors on Elisava’s terrace from May 30th to July 28th. This project offers a critical look at the issue of image saturation through the construction of a large camera that doesn’t take photographs, but generates latent images, hypothetical and real, and in order to perceive them you have to get inside them.
We are constantly being bombarded by images. We can’t understand the world anymore except from the standpoint of visual saturation, the constant, fleeting and changeable production of millions of photographs every second—the world has been transformed into images. These images construct our perception; they are our way of seeing and understanding reality and, paradoxically, most of the time they are empty of meaning. They are images without memory. The Platonic rejection of the image that has shaped our thinking about representation in the contemporary framework already foresaw a world governed by those responsible for generating images. As you enter the camera, you cross the line between reality and representation, between the actual image and the latent image, between the real and its perception, between truth and simulacrum, witnessing the pure birth of the image, of representation and its construction in contemporary society.
Camera Obscura: Visions from the Ephemeral invites the viewer to delve into different experiences of looking through a series of elements and optical challenges. The first two parts, “Cylinder” and “SneakPeek”, encourage us play and help us discover optical distortions, giving us a unique, individual, futuristic, and abstract perspective of the world we’re looking at and therefore its representation. The third element, “Camera Obscura”, reproduces the device that gave rise to photography. It relates the past to the present and calls up the origins and birth of the concepts of “looking” and “the gaze” as we understand them today, generating fleeting, latent images with no memory. This project offers a contemporary re-interpretation of the camera obscura and is rooted in the surprise of the unexpectedness and the ephemerality of our vision.
Directors: Roger Paez + Toni Montes (MEATS), Pedro Vicente (MPD)
Advisors: Merche Alcalá, Ramón Casanova, Montse Campins
Students: Nour Awarki, Elodie Bodart, David Carrasco, Ana Luísa Chitolina, Sigríður Friðriksdóttir, Mar Gené, Miguel Hernandez, Fredderick Karabela, Sena Kocaoglu, Carlota Kristensen, Yana Latinovich, Magdalena Lennon, Meghan Mathews, Diana Mehrez, Sanjana Paramhans, Marianna Pineda, Mana Pinto, Emma Rahmani, Qhosha Vad, Cristina Valarezo, Tiffany Whittaker, Noa Yarkoni, Amber Zhang.