Latent (blue)

“To capture the world of light; this seems indeed an appropriate way to define photography. But, what does ‘capture’ mean in this instance? Is photography an optical instrument to reduce the vast world into a miniature image that we can carry around as if it were a highly prized possession? Or is it on the contrary a medium that turns the tables on us, that presents us with a vision of a world that radically excludes us? Is photography a tool to harvest the world, and thereby to own it, or is it an instrument of dispossession, a way for us to jolt ourselves out of our anthropocentric beliefs? […]

[…] In the diptych Latent (blue), ‘time’ is present and even remains, at least partially, active. While the image on the left is a developed and fixed image, the dark blue image on the right is an undeveloped and unfixed color-print, which means that it is still sucking up light and will keep changing under the influence of it. Time is here an open-ended adventure, an invitation to permanent change.

The more photography deals with its own conditions of seeing and registering, the less we actually see. In these sights of light photography folds back upon itself, revealing its inner core, its basic alchemic nature. The wonder of photography is not to be found in its capability to render the world accurately in all its pointless details (this amounts to nothing more than the shady showmanship of a second-rate magician) but in its deep association with the basic laws of nature (of physics and chemistry). What these works make clear, is that to photograph is nothing more than to experiment with nature.”

Steven Humblet on Sights of light, Tique Art Space, Antwerp, Belgium, 2018