Roxana Azar’s series Cluster/Eclipse has a lot of unknown qualities. Made to enhance our view of the world the collection of photographs are a series of bold statements. Aesthetic statements, yes, but they provide a different way of looking at the things around us. Each document is perfectly crafted taking on different structures, still keeping some elements of the original scene. These ‘mistakes’, or digital errors, form beautiful spots and marks that infuse with the landscape, but they are deliberate.
The process takes on the role of the handmade through a digital screen. All perfectly placed and manipulated, the photographs do not feel like photographs anymore. The multilayered approach distorts the truth and bends reasoning. It does not read clearly, in fact, it does not follow logic.
The images are stable. Structure survives despite Azar’s attempts to rearrange, leaving everything in uncontrollable order. We do not lose a sense of shape.
Momentum gathers as pebbles plod along the image leaving their mark. The series delivers impact after impact until we learn the language attempted through the manipulation. They are speaking on a different level and go past aesthetic connotations and embark upon a rethink of the image. With the subject not quite clear, the objects create beautiful attempts to reflect reality, without fully committing to documentation. They make no attempt to be real or reflective of the environments around us; they are almost fictional.
The conquest of shapes and layers makes it a difficult image to decipher, leaving us wandering around in circles. The photographs were once clear and simple to digest; instead the manipulation removes any context they originally had. They are any place, designed to take us nowhere but our own thought processes. Inward and insular they plunge into the depths of the possibility of the image, opening up the options for the photographer to capture what they see or what they may feel. They are reflective documents that do not specifically mention anything, merely whispers a random assortment of letters and words in no particular order.
Their connection to space is quite clear with the working title hinting at a look at a different land. A land that does not exist, but the magic comes in the form of transforming the space within the photograph to create a playground of thought. The sophisticated execution leaves them as final reflections that make the environment more than what it already is. It makes it something it isn’t. With organic lines and rich colours they complete unknown documents that hint at another way of seeing things. They combine digital technologies with imagination, aesthetic choices and loose structure.
Although Roxana states it is a work in progress, there is a real sense of momentum as the images form. They are patient, slow, quiet in production but make a larger splash when exposed. It reflects the current state of photography, a medium dissatisfied with the limitations of the single image, always trying to break from the frame or expand from expectation, thus forming a new art.
Written by Alexander Norton / Published 8 May 2015