ROGER GUETTA NEM V-EX
"When time stood still"
"Like visual texts Guetta’s photographs inspire each of us to build a meaning into what we see. He uses references drawn from the everyday. We discover, uncover details in the textures, colours, and movement. Guetta draws from everyday life for sourcing in his imagery for a reason. It enables him to participate in the theatre of life, like an anthropologist of instantaneity. Visual cues flower and explode out of a multiplicity of sources and flow out of a well that has no borders. We see no marks or evidence of the cropping in composition."
See Roger Guetta's "When time stood still" NEM V-EX in full screen.
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Writing with visual layers, Guetta produces evocative, beautiful, and even classical works.
We see it in the portraits, the faces. Other images metamorphose, and like embryonic mysteries, break open to reveal a multiplicity of visual facets. From the nudes and figures to the abstract light effects, a continuity is established between the visual variables. They become narratives on the sublime where the imagery is a vehicle that propels us to engage with universal and even spiritual motifs. So Guetta builds earth dreams in earth tones and vibrant colours in the factory where lightning and thunder are made. He engages us in a temporal way, referencing new technologies in the process, and with a sensuality born of experience. We see this in ‘Old School Ride’, an image of a 1950s car. ‘Red Burn’, with its vibrant red and yellow effects is so evocative. The process in ‘Red Burn’ involved exposing theatre gel on paper to the heat of photo lamps, whereby he colours melted somewhat, to then be stretched. Roger Guetta then photographs his experiment and it becomes an abstract study.
Spliced together from various sources, these photographs express an intuitive, sublime sense of the mystery of the everyday, for Guetta assembles visuals into truly unusual layered conjunctions. He juxtaposes light, colour, textures, and visual effects to reinvent imagery on an altogether different level. There can be a suggestion of abstraction even when the images are readable, for they are all abstractions from a supposed reality. One of the recent series Guetta has produced are the white on whites. The white on whites are like worlds within worlds, fleeting, ephemeral, interpretive constructions of a totality. As cosmologies the white on whites produce an infinity of effects that we read into, building meanings out of our experience. Our experience is every day, every way, always goes on, and Guetta’s unconscious filters imperceptibly do their work. Sometimes we recognize the effects, other times we search. The search continues….
And there is another aspect to what Guetta seeks to discover in the imperceptible recognizable, and the merging of it all. That something is the language of commercial advertising that invades our reality in vast volumes daily. Commercial photography is the most volatile and creative tank of endeavor these days, particularly as it applies to the visual image. Each photo looks like it is captured from within a momentary flux of images, as if nothing were solid, or permanent. Instead we feel the ephemeral, ever changing nature of life and the way it is as we experience it. There is no ultimate rationale, just a series of visual cues and codices. Guetta interlaces these so as to present a scenario, but not as in theatre, or a plot, more like the way Joseph Cornell arranges his magic box assemblages, taking ordinary objects and transforms them by association, raising all this ordinariness onto a magical surreal plane of reality. What seems unreal is so real. We see this in ‘The 7th Way to Cross a River’. Juxtaposing a tiny doll manikin with a zigzag abstract surface pattern, this becomes a universal magical mystery. Guetta dances on the end of a rainbow, slides images along its colourful, magical arch. As a photographer he is eclectic. He has a very wide range of styles that he can apply. We live in an era when a multitude of styles are available as source from the photographer. Roger Guetta understands all this intuitively.