Noises from the Silent Land.
My father was a biology teacher. When I was a child, in Girona, he sometimes took me to his laboratory at the school, letting me look through the microscopes and allowing me to feed the snakes and lizards in the terrariums. This founded my strong fascination for biology and the origins of life. When, as an adult, I moved to Sweden, a land of forests and lakes, I came in closer contact with nature and found a new way of existing in it. An awareness of the challenges of our environment started growing in me.
When I was invited to do a glitch photography artist project inside the 100-year-old dioramas of the Biological Museum in Stockholm, I didn’t hesitate. My endeavours became the image series Noises from the Silent Land.
The diorama of the Biological Museum is a 360-degree display of Scandinavian nature, populated by stuffed animals. Dead, nowadays dusty and grey animals, that have been sacrificed in order to tell a story of the Scandinavian landscape and its wildlife. A story meant to awaken love for nature, but at the price of killing some of its inhabitants. It’s a condensation of the anthropocentric world view, where the animals are ours to kill and keep, but also our responsibility to preserve. It’s a realistic, yet completely unreal, the image of an idealised environment.
Recently exhibited at the Noorderlicht International Photofestival 2017 in the Netherlands.
An intimate history of survival. A cold desert of solitude and isolation becomes the canvas where a personal drama is projected.
When the worst prison is the one that was constructed upon oneself, staying still is accepting the defeat.
Going forward felt like the only option. But towards where?
The distorting power of the layers that they constructed around me had been meticulously designed and crafted during more than 2000 years of lies, death and destruction. I could not fight the elements, I could not fight the guards of the layered prison, but first I had to survive.
So I started walking.
To avoid walking in circles, one needs a point of reference in the distance, a sign, a little anomaly, something sticking out of the emptiness.
And then walk towards it. With the determination of the one who has nothing to lose. With the strength of the one that questions everything. With the anger of the one who feels that has been living a lie. With the acceptance of the fear of not knowing what might happen next.
Those little signs protruding out in the cold void… were the books that I read, the people that I met, the thoughts that challenged everything.
They altogether became the friction that opened the first holes on the walls of lies… till I reached the horizon all by myself. After a long survival journey, I was finally able to escape.
Through that opening, I saw a world that had been there all the time, just invisible to my eyes.
More real, warmer, feminine and loving.
Archival pigmented prints, wooden frame antireflective UV Artglass, 52x52cm.
The literal translation of the Spanish expression “Papel mojado” to English is wet paper. The meaning would be “a scrap of paper”, “a worthless bit of paper”, “dead letter”, “meaningless”.
“Papel Mojado 01” Forensic evidence N° 20171001-MR/JP
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Spanish, archival ink on paper, vacuum storage bag (Nylon+Polyethylene), 4 red clothespins, clothes drying rack
“Papel Mojado 02” Forensic evidence N° 20190527-MR/JP
The UN Group on Arbitrary Detention report in Spanish, calling for the immediate release of the Catalan political prisoners, archival ink on paper, vacuum storage bag (Nylon+Polyethylene), 4 red clothespins, clothes drying rack.
This installation was part of the group exhibition “Democracy under Siege” at Galleri Duerr Stockholm.
19413 days to remember
Portraits of two Catalan activists and 14 Catalan politicians, some in prison, some in forced exile.
The post-its under each photo remember the days that each one of them has spent in such a dramatic situation. Every day the post-its are actualized. The lost days in the life of peaceful, pro-democracy, pro-Europe citizens, accumulates on the floor.
On the opposite wall there is a printed official letter from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
“Ministry of Foreign Affairs
To the Riksdag Foreign Minister
Answer to Question 2018/19: 869 by Betty Malmberg (M) The situation in Catalonia:
Betty Malmberg has asked me if I intend to act on the grounds that a working group linked to the UN agency OHCHR has presented to the Spanish government that the Catalan regional politicians who are arrested should be released, as they are considered to be imprisoned on arbitrary grounds.
There is currently a legal process in Spain, against the Catalan regional politicians referred to by Betty Malmberg. The trial itself ended in June 2019 and a verdict is expected this fall.
The Government sees no reason to question the ability of the Spanish judicial system to ensure a legal process with full respect for human rights and in accordance with the principles of the rule of law.
Stockholm, August 19, 2019 Margot Wallström
A photo of the Margot Wallström, (former) Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, lays in between the lost days.
Archival pigmented prints on Kapa board, yellow post-its, permanent ink red marker.
This is an ongoing piece.
Every piece will be finished when each person is liberated from prison or can return safely from exile. When this happens, the picture and the last post-it will be framed. Each individual framed piece will be for sale, with a starting price determined by the time spent in prison/exile. Each day will be priced at 10 SEK. The money raised by the selling of the artworks will be divided equally and donated to Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan Nacional Assembly.
This installation was part of the group exhibition “Democracy under Siege” at Galleri Duerr Stockholm. It shared space together with Santiago Sierra’s piece “Political prisoners in contemporary Spain” that was censored at the ARCO 2018 art fair in Madrid.
One can’t see the forest for the trees!
What does that really mean? That what you look at arouses your interest so much that you move closer and closer until you ultimately cannot see the entire image? The forest disappears from your focus and what you see instead is that the forest consists of – just trees. But what is the forest if not just trees? No trees – no forest
These images could be trompe l’oeil. But the artist can not fool your eyes. Your eyes see what they see. They can be trusted. It is what your references, past experiences and preconceived ideas do with what you see which is actually tricking you. So, blame yourself if you get lost on the water’s edge!
Serinyà often works this way. Hiding something for us to discover. Setting up his camera and capturing what we have always seen, but not understanding that we have seen it. And he almost always adds chance to the process. The random is always there, so why fight against it? Invite it in instead. Take a dance with chance, so the end result will be both more interesting and less predictable – this is Serinyà’s approach to his art.
By studying his photographic images in the series Seascapes, you will question these preconceived ideas. And maybe you will even learn something new about yourself. You might even get a better overall understanding of your own way of seeing.
– Hans Malm, photographer
Dancing with the Glitch
In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō), suffering (苦 ku) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū).
Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.
Dancing With The Glitch serie is the result of a playfull wabi-sabi aproach to digital photography. Away from their aseptic technological perfection, these fruit of randomness in digital images, celebrate the art of finding beauty in imperfection.
Archival pigmented prints. 30x30cm. Edition 25+2AP
The Accidental Potential
A glitch is a rupture in information flow, which forces the digital file out of its flawless hyperrealistic design to a reality of randomness and imperfection.
It exposes the true nature of digital photography hidden beneath its formal facade.
While everything operates as expected, this fragility remains invisible, concealed by the layer of expectations that defines photography itself.
Compared to traditional chemical photography, the potential for errors has been drastically decreased with the advent of digital photography. For professional photography, this has been a relief and real game-changer, as it relies heavily on efficiency and performance. For art photography, this has represented a shift in the way some artists explore and allow errors to intervene in the creative process. At the same time, digital photography has become a catalyst for a post-photographic era.
The original meaning of the word error suggests: to wander along a different path, without a purpose, but with the potential for unexpected results and consequences.
Glitches like these can be generated by fortuity or purpose. Modernism, Abstract Art, Dada, Happening and Conceptual Art explored them, and nowadays it is a key factor in Dj, remix and hacking cultures.
Serinyà’s body of work orbits around layer phenomena. At the centre of his research, the exploration deals with some of their defining characteristics, such as their invisibility, their capacity for distortion, but most importantly, the parallelisms that these phenomena and their consequences have in common with cultural and social systems.
In this context, a glitch represents the anomaly that reveals the presence of a layer occurrence and it becomes a vital moment of revelation and a fantastic opportunity for awareness.