Inside the surface

Photography records luminance — returns images of the surfaces of objects exposed to light in front of the lens. It presents static images, two-dimensional frames sometimes printed on paper. It can register the externals of any thing. Interiores (Interiors) demonstrates, on the other hand, that the photographic can also refer to introspection and thought.

As a spatial concept, interior opposes exterior. What’s inside has been closed, protected or put away. It can lie near or far from the observer, but it’s always separated via a limit, a division, or at least, a difference in lighting.

Jorge Miño, Líneas de Contención, 2010

Inside the exhibition hall at MAMBA and just in front of the entrance hangs the work of Jorge Miño. They are pictures of solid industrial buildings, always empty architectural structures, whose bare lines incarnate the rational, linear thought of design and engineering. On the frontier between the interior and the exterior, the solid and the liquid, the real and the imaginary, the soft contrast of opaque silver and black accentuates these geometric images.

To the side, in the lateral wing of the hall, the images of Carlos Herrera and Alberto Goldenstein, show something different. They frame visual arrangements of objects inside a defined space.

Carlos Herrera, Serie De Vuelta a Casa

The series De Vuelta a Casa (Back Home) by Herrera, occupying an entire wall, depicts the small details in the living rooms of private houses, which can be imagined, given the clues, as family homes. While the inhabitants remain outside the frame, the objects and the walls of the background indicate which things the owner values and prefers. A certain order exists in these pictures too, as amateur as they look, probably lit by a built-in camera flash and with lines that tend to twist. In Herrera’s images, though, there’s no extant geometric rationalism, but rather a private, internal sense of organization that follows its own logic instead of representing a universal value. The images form irregularly interrupted lines on the wall; they leave abrupt blank spaces, following a mysterious logic.

Alberto Goldenstein, En el Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, 2006-2011

Goldenstein’s interiors, on the other hand, reveal the details of exhibition spaces in Argentine museums — images of exposed works and the architecture around them. The photographic paper doesn’t distinguish one from the other. Those places have expressly been built for the contemplation of the observer, tidily arranged and lit, and they look like a controlled environment. Nevertheless, both in these images and in Herrera’s pictures, where chance can play a more decisive role, objects seem on the edge of getting a life of their own and of threatening to make their own decisions.

Raúl Flores, En Tránsito, 2007

In front of Miño’s photos, the circle closes with the photos of Raúl Flores, shot under the different beds where he slept for a year and that later became the series En Tránsito (In Transit). The site of resting and dreams, the bed paradigmatically represents the idea of interior in the sense of intimacy. Flores’ pictures spy under this always covered space where light doesn’t reach. Sometimes empty, other things hide away from the field of vision. His camera peeps, spies, but it doesn’t light up. It observes, without judging, a space made by chance, not intended to be viewed or discovered.

It would be strange, though fascinating, to find these photos in the pages of a newspaper or magazine because, contrary to what pictures do in the mainstream media, the images from Interiores don’t intend to go out and find reality to document, or to illustrate the news. They seem to register moments, external apparences that refer to private seclusion, to internal thinking and the forms it can take in the details, sometimes minimal, of the surrounding, often tyrannically organized world.

Raúl Flores, Alberto Goldenstein, Carlos Herrera and Jorge Miño
Interiores (Interiors)

Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, MAMBA
San Juan 350, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Through July 31st
Monday – Friday, 12 – 7 PM
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, 11 AM – 8 PM

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