Cercle del Liceu, Rambla dels Caputxins, Barcelona, March 1996
Original title: Cercle del Liceu, Rambla dels Caputxins, Barcelona, març 1996
Black and white photograph
Dimensions: 141 x 137 cm
Reference: ACF0686
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Once again, the work of Craigie Horsfield addresses the continual reframing of multiple issues related to the readability of the artwork as such, and of the places and ways in which works are produced, exhibited and received, particularly in relation to the new states in which photographic images can exist and the manners in which they relate to reality and society. Produced specifically for the project La ciutat de la gent (Barcelona, 1996), this work also engages with recent debate about the verisimilitude and objectivity of viewed images, for it is not the result of any reworking, citation or transformation of an existing image. Thus, it also constitutes, once again, a direct confrontation with a current, contemporary reality, parallel in time and fixed as a singular and unique recording, but saturated with various strata and—as the unique result of an experience of viewing and contemplation that is also unique, almost specific—open to multiple evolutionary/revolutionary readings. As the artist himself has said on various occasions, the artwork has ‘moved from the object to action within the space of relation, the “work” concerning being in relation’. It is this relational aspect, therefore, rather than the traditional aesthetic dimension and artistic subjectivity of the creative encounter and the spontaneous gaze, that ultimately configures the underlying sense (though not the meaning) of Horsfield’s recent work. Despite the appearance of strict objectivity presented by the artist’s gaze, the work is not free from flows of fiction and artifice, but it is not based on a positivist or pseudoscientific approach intended to show us the ‘thing-in-itself’. It is precisely the essential relational character of the work that makes it more complex and more susceptible to constant variations with respect to its readability. Once again, the work insists on the importance of both the idea and the image (in any of its photographic forms), on interrelating different languages, and, above all, on trying to give a social dimension to the effects of its reception. In this work we see a specific and highly connoted space that belongs to a concrete time and a particular relational system, shown in a way that is equally specific, in a proportional format, with a directly ocularcentric viewpoint that is reconciled, insofar as this is possible, with what is (re)presented. What we see, however, also shows us all the other things that we do not see, but which are also there, at the same instant, whether by virtue of their opposition or absence.

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