Adam Fuss in the Foundation Mapfre, Madrid
Exhibition of Adam Fuss in the Foundation Mapfre of Madrid on January 27 – April 17, 2011
“Allow to me to preface my answer saying that the technical information about how the photo is done is its least interesting aspect […] I I believe that the interesting thing there is the experience that one has of a photo. I believe that we are much determined to have this automatic answer when we see a photo: immediately we have to have some fact. But that will never satisfy the mystery, he will never answer to the mystery of what is experienced”.
Adam Fuss does not like speaking about chronology in its work. He returns to the topics and skills that more he is interested in in the moment that seems more appropriate to him. He is a special artist, as it was defined in the press conference of the presentation of the exhibition by the Director of the Institute of Culture of the Foundation MAPFRE, Pablo Jiménez Burillo.
We are before a very particular sample, which raises many questions and many concepts in the life of the man. Experimenter is loaded with a symbolism shut up in a very rich interior universe of a photographer.
Its photos are big experiments derived from the love of Fuss by the daguerreotypes, the first photographic essays and stills of the XIXth century. He studies the work of William Henry Fox Talbot and Bill Brandt, whose example was very important as for skill and freshness, known especially by its black and white works on social contrasts in the British society and its “country music landscapes”.
For him, the used skill is something secondary. It had its first camera when he was a child, and once he learned that its handling decided that it was something very simple and that the whole world could do, therefore it began to investigate and investigate new methods that they were inspiring to him to be able to communicate and transmit its ideas. It sees the photo like a bridge between the world of the chemistry, the mechanics and the physics, and the world of the artistic communication.
It realizes daguerreotypes and stills, works with the only pieces on photosensitive role, transmitting a real and intense reality sensation, as Jiménez Burillo indicated.
The exhibition presents works of all its series, emphasizing that of “My Ghost“, realized between 2000 and 2009, and that as it defines the police station of the exhibition, Cheryl Brutvan, Conservative of Contemporary art of Norton Museum of Art of Florida, the artist “studied and dominated the process of the daguerreotype to exploit and to manipulate the elements of its production, in particular the opaqueness of the image and its attractive blue tones”. It is a very evocative series, intimist, who is carried back to the past, a merger between the absences and the presences, representing something that is already not. Between the pieces they emphasize tails of baptism, swans with unfolded wings, butterflies, which are really melancholic and embrace a thin and fragile line between the life and the death.
The same Brutvan defines in an excellent way the work of Adam Fuss. For her, it is slightly visionary: "its photos are singularly beautiful, that they speak on eternal things and atemporales”. “It's all about the beginning and the ending”. The loss notion is always present in all its production.
In its most recent series of daguerreotypes, “Home and the world” (2010), we observe the big format of its last work-60 x 96 cm - perhaps unpublished in the history.
To stand out there are its stills realized in cibachrome on babies. The artist confesses that they are not his, but they represent him. Normally, when it has been represented and one shows to a child in the painting or in the sculpture, or most of children in a museum, it is the image of Jesus Christ the one that is represented. Fuss breaks with this idea and contributes the image of the infancy, of a new life. Cheryl Brutvan defines the neonato as “I clean of the adversities and the pain, the happiness and the knowledge, it personifies the purity and the hope”.
A motive that repeats with steadfastness in its series is that of the snake. The planet Earth could have meditated along its million years of existence, the extinction of the most numerous animal and vegetable species. The snake has always survived. The snake for Adam Fuss is a symbol of healing, of life (“healing snake”); and also there is the snake of the morality, to which it relates with God and with the humanity, across the Biblical passages where the snake appears; and in the mythological ones, the Jellyfish.
He is a big collector of photo of the XIXth century. To realize its photos it returns mentally to its English origins, goes into exile spiritually of its study in New York and returns to its origins. It admires faithfully John Murray, who in 1864 realized a series of the only pieces on Taj Mahal in India. Adam Fuss carries out a homage towards him inside “My Ghost“, with several daguerreotypes in which it recreates an oriental fantasy loaded with mysticism. It is not a real photo, but this is the least important thing. He invents these giant daguerreotypes that have part of “brief, conmemorative, and to funerary function like the building” (commemorative, funeral function, like the building).
The concept of master of funeral ceremonies and of commemoration, of life and death, they walk along its extensive work and spread even to the place where the exhibition is celebrated: the plant-1 of the Foundation Mapfre. He likes the space, turns out to be familiar to him, “like to crypt, you plow in to funerary space”.
After thirty years of career and of public acknowledgement, Adam Fuss settles for three months in Madrid, allowing us to appreciate the metaphysics and the poetry of its creations. A poetry to reflect, to allow to go inside its mystical iconography and its concept of the love:
“… When the lives that we believed ours disappear without leaving track, the understanding opens way to itself in retrospective sense, for corridors of sadness and confusion that they take us to places where perhaps we never wanted to be, but of that now we have to take possession”.
For more information:
http://www.exposicionesmapfrearte.com / adamfuss /
Almudena Martínez Martín
Filed file: Exhibitions
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