Book review: Le nom qui efface la couleur by Marcin Grabowiecki
There are some books we want to own only for their covers. For unknown reason they attract us in a magnetic manner, and this is exactly the case with Le nom qui efface la couleur. Lyrical portrait of a little girl decorating the cover, full of noble purity, has a huge emotional charge. Her glance is literally piercing us through, eliciting the famous Barthes’s “punctum”.
On the very first pages photographs set nostalgic mood which is consequently sustained throughout the publication. Sensuality of those images is striking, whether they show gentle bird feathers, branches, apple surrounded with fallen leaves or skin features of Israel Ariño’s protagonists. Water drops’ shape resembles that of Water Lilly and Tadpole shoal corresponds with flocking birds. Meanwhile, rings on water are the reflection of stars moving through the night sky.
Reflection on nature’s unity is only one of many themes present in Ariño’s work. Other themes are decay and slow disappearance illustrated by photos showing tire marks disappearing in water, a hole in stable roof or plane wreck. What all these images have in common is their gentleness and extraordinary sensuality. It’s hard not to touch those black and white photographs. However, they don’t pretend to be anything more than a mirror reflecting the unplumbed mystery of the universe.
In Ariño’s photographs many things are hidden.A turned back silhouette
is blanketed with smoke, hay stacks are covered with foil and car is hidden under a fabric jacket. As if author wanted to tell that what we see is only a surface of eternal mystery we can’t yet understand. It’s not easy to tell about things reaching beyond our physical world using physical matter which, undeniably, photography is. However, this quiet book by Israel Ariño manages to do so.
This book is a result of being in Le Blanc in central France when on residence organised by Nature Humaine.
Rating: Very Good (5/6)
Israel Ariño: Le nom qui efface la couleur, hardcover, 24 x 20 cm, 104 pages, Ediciones Anómalas / Filigranes Éditions 2014