The concept of landscape is worked on by young photographer Carla Cabanas through the use of several processes- First, there is the pertinence of the genre in photography, and its relation with art history: after centuries of reinterpretation and atelier-recreated landscape, the photographer questions the purity of his or her regard, and on the relationship between the photographed landscape and reality. From here emerges a second axis of reflection which assumes that the eye of the photographer (or the camera’s lens) is always partial, and is therefore legitimate to work the landscape as if dealing with painting.
The reference to Gerard Richter is constant. Richter is perhaps the contemporary artist who most incisively has tried to invert the big question that crosses art today: if, ever since Impressionism, painting is centred in itself and leaves the task of representing reality up to photography, let us the focus on the latter and perhaps we will conclude that it is as personal and subjective as painting. In this line of thought, Carla Cabanas manipulates the photographed image using every means she finds possible and presents works which own as much to painting as they do to photography, or rather, to photography history. The original image is burnt, painted, re-photographed, until reaching a final outcome that is able to leave us, the viewers, doubting as to its original nature.
There is a book of photographs that contrasts with all the works presented on the wall, and follows a model which is, after all, the model for presenting painting in any exhibition. Landscape, the title of the book – presents a kind of visual journal, intimate, of this work developed by the artist, and recovers the tradition of presenting photography on a physical support, portable, manageable, to the human scale of the urbanite who moves around from place to place in his everyday life. “Landscape”, by offering us images that are much more constructions that we might imagined at first, allows us to project on them the world we carry about within us, built as much by society as by ourselves. This is the invitation that it offers, from deserted images, stripped of inhabitants, which speak for themselves in a language where words don’t seem to fit.
LUISA SOARES DE OLIVEIRA