UP AND AROUND THE BEND by Christian Lagata (Kursala + FUEGO BOOKS, 2015), BUY
Amongst black and white squares the subjects lies nearly within the square. Pale tones radiate through the pages as you get the sensation of heat with calm skies. People approach the maker, Christian Lagata, but then reside back to their lives. His search is never ending. Consistency reigns as objects make their way into the landscape, always found but never placed. The steady rhythm creates a song that quietly plays in the background.
A visual song.
We acclimatise to the surroundings as they become more prominent in our minds, slowly chipping away at how we see the environment around us. Quiet, never shouting, a man appears and shows a scar. The stitches repairing the skin, they are in a stage of recuperation. There are no sounds as they present themselves, as we all know the photograph is a silent object but an element of atmosphere builds. As the pages progress grey is ingrained in our minds.
The nature of the approach makes it a fascinating object. Built over many years, through maps and directions we receive his view and his route around the particular areas. Neutral in standpoint he is always staying on the side of truth but bends our perception of what order anything may be in. We do not know what time, day, year they were taken in, we have little context to withdraw our facts but we feel it. We feel..
Pixelated archives make their way into the middle of Up and Around The Bend. Completely away from the technicalities of framing and lighting. They are sketches from regular people, almost as if they have been lifted from online databases. They float there out of place but important in context. They suggest another way of seeing the areas through regular and you could argue ‘normal’ eyes.
The unique vision that comes across is acquired though hard work. Something we rarely touch upon when we talk about work. The work just appears and we don’t think how or how long it took to make it. What went in to the research and how the ideas came about. That all stays silent.
Instead we are presented with a calming presence as you can almost feel the sand brush your ankles and you stand there in the desert like landscape, with the maker himself.
Their immersive qualities make it possible to always seem like you are a part of something you have just entered. With no prior knowledge or any sense of bearings. He leads the way through editing and the experience begins. This is the books greatest quality.
Although it’s vague nature leaves a lot to the imagination, there is a clear linear path available if you look for it. Through design features, the map hugs the front of the book covering up imposing red letters introducing the work. The object itself becomes a guide to reading the work, if enough time is spent with it.
Written by Alexander Norton / Published 7 September 2015