Purity

The role of photography is still the same: to portray a moment. Real or imagined, the look of the creative is always there, seeing what others will see before shooting.

Portrait of Ana Yago Ana Yago Valencia

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We are the slaves of an instant. We are chained to a view that must be free and, at the same time, exempt of moral imperfections, even though these are the most eye-catching aspects. This might be the reason why there are so many lively photographs which -at the same time- are confusing and hard to remember. Nevertheless, our duty as time lawyers is exactly the opposite: to certify the existence of beauty and perfection and make it eternal. Catch the instant when a model becomes the perfect stand for the clothes floating on his body.

According to Jean Luc Goddard , photography means truth. And cinema is a 24 times per second truth, but it involves forgetting the instant, which I reject as a professional. I believe more in Milan Kundera, not in the unbearable lightness of being, but in the statement that says memory does not save films but pictures. The last ones possess their own stories. These stories will roam through time and will make its characters immortal; a dress, a piece of jewelry, the creative spirit or just the identity to whom they belong.

That pure obligation takes us every minute to become a mirror that shows a fixed image of one of those faces that we have seen so many times that it looks familiar, but our eyes’ anxiety for pureness makes it seem to be the first time we see it. This allows us to focus in the soul of what is being shown rather than who is showing it.

This is our main objective: create an accurate language, in accordance with its better use, free of vicious and odd voices and constructions. This is all about telling stories, not our stories though, but to grasp the essence of the gliding qualities of a fabric, the slenderness a high-heel brings or the unusual shine of a precious stone in order to let the spectator finish a story initially presented by its author.

The photographer is an invisible artisan capable of changing shape and put himself in other people’s shoes, wether it is Balenciaga, Montesinos or Jimmy Hendrix’s wilderness for a Lois campaign, even reinterpreting Salvador Dalí’s –the master– painting. Knowing each stitch of the dress and the pain its author suffered when creating it to make that ephemeral collection become eternal in the memory of those who wear it. To make them understand it, love it.

Ok, it is true. Nowadays, the role of photography is the same as always: to portray an instant. Formats, materials and technology have changed, but the nature of the photograph itself has not, because image is -and will always be- one of the concepts underling contemporary societies. And, as well as clothing, it is not only an historical product but a vital element, subject to the vagaries of fashion and technical progress.

A dress transmits the transformation of feelings throughout time. A dress which changes at the same pace as body shape and its aspirations. Fashion is an artistic phenomenon living inside one of the most contemporary concepts of art: the desire to transform.

Actually, part of the artistic-photographic creation from the beginning of the 20th century was focused on the peculiarities of the clothing world, to which the society was putting all its own imagery. That might be the reason why both are living a romance essential for the evolution and development of fashion. Photography contributes, like no other artistic medium, in creating a concept of beauty which society can then use as a guide along the long path that is the gradual transformation of gender roles. Photography and its different references -report, realism, surrealism…- highlight, in accordance with fashion, humans’ greatest aspiration: independence.

No one like Matt Hardy has been able to summarize that ethereal vanity: “Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”

Maybe my eye does not observe that pure obligation and it might be just an experimented and lubricated tool that looks through the tunnel and can only see an instant. If this is truth, as Manuel Vicent pointed out, in the end, the victors are the only ones who know how to look nice in the photo.

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Ana Yago

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Portrait of Grisell Botana
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Grisell Botana
Jul 2013

delicate observation, very nice

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