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José Luis Santalla. OBRA RECIENTE

18 julio 2013
Calle Alameda 18, Madrid

Napoleón I
Napoleón II

The photographic practices from the 70s and 80s of the 20th century have tended to broaden the field of action of the medium, reformulating the meaning that “the photographic” has and establishing a deep critique of the “chronicle” method of the various documentary styles or styles documentaries.


In this way, the first thing that was questioned was the truth value of photography and its reliable testimonial role whose objective was the reflection of reality. Although already in the 19th century the representation of reality introduced a certain theatricalization in poses and dramatizations, and certain experiences of the surreal environment established a fictional narrative,_cc781905-9cde-4cde -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_the power and dominance of documentalism is affirmed in the 20th century XX as an indisputable modality of truth.


Resistance to documentation appears very clearly in pictorialism, although the idea of truth is not at the center of its review or its objectives. In the late pictorialism of Ortiz Echagüe, for example, the basic aspects of documentary se are attenuated or camouflaged in a strong tendency towards idealization.


On the other hand, the insertion of photography in the artistic medium of distribution and circulation, will propitiate at the end of the 20th century the questioning of reproducibility and the claim of the unique work, como a strategy of redefining the medium in its collision with other artistic practices, and very specifically with painting.


José Luis Santalla has explored in many of his previous series breaks with the models of photographic truth, establishing keys fictional narratives, as in Brave New World (1999), series of portraits of mannequins whose expressions lie between idealized perfection and simulation or Fugas (2002) where the vestiges of clothing, objects and_cc781905-5cde-3194-bbd8bad5bbd-bbd the keys to the presence of invisible bodies or de their absence, in a climate of surreal irony.


In the most recent works that he is presenting now at Galería Blanca Soto, the breaks in the conventions on the idea of truth and on multiple copying are already extreme, and tend to reconsider processes image alteration manuals. The photographs, in black and white and a unique work, the result of the combination of various images, have been scratched and sanded to recreate a pictorial or drawing simulation._cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_In these procedures the photographic image loses its sharpness, but it also appears endowed with a ghostly, unreal halo.


The tension of photography towards the unique work appears in a certain way as a contradiction. It is actually a paradox that however can have many meanings: under the cover of breaking a characteristic essential of photography, the idea of a unique work tends to assimilate_cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_photography with painting, but it also opens up the possibility of alteration as singularization and flexibility of the medium. In the same way, painting projects of serialization have been produced that exclude the idea of copying, or of pictorial simultaneity that empties of_cc781905-5cde-3193-bb3d5ctenido5dfbd58d Contrast between original and copy.


In these works by JL Santalla, the idea of the work points to an economization of the image and underlines the manual value of the alteration as also a photographic characteristic.


Art critic and exhibition curator.

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