In the Eclipse series, initiated in 2017, I use a set of slides rescued from the Flea Market and that, apparently, portrait one specific family’s leisure and celebration moments.
The images are presented in light boxes facing the wall, so that the viewer does not have a direct line of sight. I added to each light box a reflective surface, parallel to the image and mounted at a very short distance from it; this surface also fixates the box to the wall.
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This short distance between the lightbox and the wall enables the light from the box to escape from it and to create a luminous and colourful halo around it; also, it allows the viewer to peek and see the image. Thus, the viewer does not see the printed image but rather its reflection on this black, smooth and shiny surface that works as a mirror. The distance between the box and the reflective surface also creates a sense of depth, the image does not appear in the “surface” but it is like it enters the wall. The reflection of the slide, in the reflective surface, seems to move away from its origin, penetrating the wall. Both image and the act of gazing gain a new depth. They gain a tridimensional feel, like in other series the act of gouging or cutting the image turned it into a tridimensional object. The reflexion of the image appears like in a tunnel.
In this first photographs of the series, where I continue to explore the multiple relations that the subject builds with photography and the act of photographing, the act of hiding and of peeking are evoked.
In the picnic scene, one of the women holds a photographic camera towards the photographer. In the gazebo scene, one of the women steers the telescope towards the photographer, turning her back to the landscape. In the couple scene, it seems the photographer surreptitiously caught them.
The series evokes the subject photographer that peeks at reality through the mediating device that is the photographic camera. The subject spectator also peeks, positioning their body in order to go around the obstacle and see the image’s reflection.
Like memories that burst from the obscurity to which they are sent by the passing of time, the light of the image in Eclipse gushes through the walls, emerging from behind the black box that hides the image. This light that bursts from the obstacle gives the series its name. Eclipse, from the Greek ‘to abandon’, ‘to darken’, ‘to cease to exist’. Figuratively, to eclipse is the act of making something disappear. But we know that, at least in the case of the astronomical phenomena, it is a temporary disappearance. The astronomical objects in transit obscure the other, from the point of view of the observer, but just temporarily.
In Eclipse, I hide the image and make its trace appear.