Hiroshi Sugimoto

Para mí la técnica es muy importante. Mi concepto se ajusta a sus límites. Veo lo que la cámara puede ver. Siento como si me volviese una cámara. Mi mente es una cámara oscura.” Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Del 19 de febrero al 8 de mayo de 2016

Desde el día 19 de febrero de 2016 se podrá disfrutar en la Casa Garriga i Nogués en Barcelona de la exposición dedicada al fotógrafo japonés Hiroshi Sugimoto. La muestra, bajo el título de Hiroshi Sugimoto. Black Box, nos propone un recorrido por algunas de sus series más destacadas y nos invita a conocer el trabajo que el artista está realizando actualmente.

Este artista multidisciplinar, afincado en Nueva York desde la década de los setenta, trabaja con la escultura, la arquitectura, la instalación y la fotografía, siendo considerado en este último campo como uno de los más importantes autores de la escena internacional.

La muestra reúne 39 obras de gran formato que permiten recorrer los últimos cuarenta años de trabajo del artista.

Cinco grandes series

La exposición se articula en cinco secciones, dedicadas a las cinco grandes series del artista que podrán contemplarse en ella:

  • Seascapes [Paisajes marinos] (1980- )
  • Portraits [Retratos] (1994-1999)
  • Theaters [Cines] (1976- )
  • Dioramas (1976-2012)
  • Lightning Fields [Campos de relámpagos] (2006-).

Sus obras se caracterizan por una gran belleza visual y un elevado virtuosismo técnico. El fotógrafo ha logrado reinterpretar algunos de los géneros más característicos de la tradición fotográfica clásica, rechazando la tecnología digital en favor de métodos tradicionales.

En conjunto, la obra de Hiroshi Sugimoto constituye una profunda meditación en torno a la naturaleza de la percepción, la ilusión, la representación, la vida y la muerte.

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Aegean Sea, Pilion, from the series Seascapes, 1990, Gelatin silver print. 60 x 72 x 3″

Seascapes

Water and air. So very commonplace are these substances, they hardly attract attention―and yet they vouchsafe our very existence. The beginnings of life are shrouded in myth: Let there water and air. Living phenomena spontaneously generated from water and air in the presence of light, though that could just as easily suggest random coincidence as a Deity. Let’s just say that there happened to be a planet with water and air in our solar system, and moreover at precisely the right distance from the sun for the temperatures required to coax forth life. While hardly inconceivable that at least one such planet should exist in the vast reaches of universe, we search in vain for another similar example. Mystery of mysteries, water and air are right there before us in the sea. Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing. Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Caribbean Sea, Jamaica, 1980

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Ligurian Sea, saviore, 1993

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Baltic Sea, Rügen, 1996

Portraits

In the sixteenth century, Flemish court painter to the British Crown  Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) gave us the imposingly regal portrait of Henry VIII now kept in London’s Royal Portrait Gallery. Based on this Holbein portrait, the wax figure artisans of Madame Tussaud’s in their consummate skill recreated an absolutely faithful likeness of the king. Which allowed me―based on my own studies intothe Renaissance lighting Holbein might have painted by―to re-do the Royal Portrait, substituting photography for painting, the sole recording medium available at the time. If this photograph now appears lifelike to you, you had better reconsider what it means to be alive here and now. Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto. Oscar Wilde

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Oscar Wilde  by Napoleon Sarony – Scanned from “Camera, National Portrait Gallery, People in Camera 1839-1914”. Napoleon Sarony (March 9, 1821 – November 9, 1896)[1] was an American lithographer and photographer.

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, The Music Lesson, 1999, Pigment print, 53-5/8 x 42″

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The Music Lesson or Lady at the Virginals with a Gentleman by Johannes Vermeer, also known as Jan Vermeer, is a painting of young female pupil receiving the titular music lesson. It has been estimated to have been painted between 1662 and 1665. The medium of the work is oil on canvas.

Theaters

I’m a habitual self-interlocutor. Around the time I started photographing at the Natural History Museum, one evening I had a near-hallucinatory vision. The question-and-answer session that led up to this vision went something like this: Suppose you shoot a whole movie in a single frame? And the answer: You get a shining screen. Immediately I sprang into action, experimenting toward realizing this vision. Dressed up as a tourist, I walked into a cheap cinema in the East Village with a large-format camera. As soon as the movie started, I fixed the shutter at a wide-open aperture, and two hours later when the movie finished, I clicked the shutter closed. That evening, I developed the film, and the vision exploded behind my eyes. Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters (Salle 37, Palais de Tokyo, Paris), 2013. Courtesy Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters, Tri City Drive-in, 1993

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters, City Music Hall, 1978

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters, Theatre Metropolitan Orpheum, Los Angeles

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters, Palace Ohio, 1980

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters 

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theaters

Dioramas

Upon first arriving in New York in 1974, I did the tourist thing. Eventually I visited the Natural History Museum, where I made a curious discovery: the stuffed animals positioned before painted backdrops looked utterly fake, yet by taking a quick peek with one eye closed, all perspective vanished, and suddenly they looked very real. I’d found a way to see the world as a camera does. However fake the subject, once photographed, it’s as good as real. Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lobos de Alaska, 1994, Dioramas

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Neanderthal, 143, 1994, Dioramas

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Polar Bear, 1976, gelatin silver print, Dioramas

Lightning Fields

The word electricity is thought to derive from the ancient Greek elektron, meaning “amber.” When subject to friction, materials such as amber and fur produce an effect that we now know as static electricity. Related phenomena were studied in the eighteenth century, most notably by Benjamin Franklin. To test his theory that lightning is electricity, in 1752 Franklin flew a kite in a thunderstorm. He conducted the experiment at great danger to himself; in fact, other researchers were electrocuted while conducting similar experiments. He not only proved his hypothesis, but also that electricity has positive and negative charges. In 1831, Michael Faraday’s formulation of the law of electromagnetic induction led to the invention of electric generators and transformers, which dramatically changed the quality of human life. Far less well-known is that Faraday’s colleague, William Fox Talbot, was the father of calotype photography. Fox Talbot’s momentous discovery of the photosensitive properties of silver alloys led to the development of positive-negative photographic imaging. The idea of observing the effects of electrical discharges on photographic dry plates reflects my desire to re-create the major discoveries of these scientific pioneers in the darkroom and verify them with my own eyes. Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields

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Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lightning Fields

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