Book review: Le nom qui efface la couleur, Adam Bell / Paper Journal
Created during a residency at Le Blanc, France, the black & white images that make up Israel Ariño’s Le Nom Qui Efface La Couleur resist easy interpretation. As loosely related images, they offer a sombre portrait of a sleepy French town. Romantic images of old cars, fallen fruit, and dilapidated farmhouses suggest a town forgotten or suspended, outside the grip of the modern world, or falling away. Although the work is a melancholic document of a place, it is also an exploration of photography’s ontological nature. Somewhat cryptically, Ariño speaks about the work as dealing with the ‘disappearance of things’. Throughout the book there is a sense of coming in and out of being– stuffed birds turn away, shelves are shrouded, tracks lead into a snow-covered field, and fruit lies on the ground, waiting to be picked up. While the work presents a world falling away, it also points to a deeper mystery of photography about what images preserve, what they change, and what slips away.
Ariño has created several books over the past couple of years. The most recent titles include Atlas and Terra Incognita (both Ediciones Anómalas). Like his most recent book, both titles weave together poetic black & white imagery that call to mind Aleix Plademunt’s recent Almost There (MACK, 2013) and the work of Raymond Meeks–stubbornly romantic, yet utterly contemporary. The title, Le Nom Qui Efface La Couleur, loosely translates as ‘the name that washes away, or erases, colour’,and seems not only allude to the town, Le Blanc – or White – where the work was made, but also to photography itself. For photography, like language, points and shows us the world, transforming it in the process. 1+1=3. In all photographs, the things photographed, and the photograph itself, change and disappear, remain separate, and yet give us something new.
Written by Adam Bell / Published 18 July 2014
Book review: Le nom qui efface la couleur, Harvey Benge
Israel Ariño is a Barcelona based photographer who makes pictures that are spare yet loaded and have a profound beauty. Once in a while I see work that I wish I had made, here is such an occasion.
Ariño’s new bookwork – Le nom qui efface la couleur – revolves around what is possible, around the possibility of being one thing or another, of falling or flying, of remaining or vanishing, and in general, around man’s intrinsic freedom, which places him in a world full of options, forcing him to choose between one or another.
The work borders on abstraction, a state of mind in which to explore the limits of photography, a threshold from which to witness a new type of place coming into being, more indistinct and ambiguous but at the same time more involved in a territory rich in sentiment, metaphor and language.
The series was produced while Ariño was artist-in-residence in Nature Humaine, in the Centre region of France.
The book itself is a beautiful object. Published by Ediciones Anomalas the book feels good in the hands and the production values are superb. Printed on a luscious satin paper with intense blacks and subtle highlights. What’s more, Israel Ariño not only knows how to make stunning photographs his edit and sequencing is masterful.
Written by Harvey Benge / Published 17 July 2014
Photography / Art / Ideas